PA Act 319 Preferential Tax Treatment Amended To Include Land Devoted to Alternative Energy Systems

January 2011Newsletters In the Zone

On Nov. 23, 2010, Governor Rendell signed into legislation Act 109 amending Act 319, which provides preferential tax assessments for land devoted to agricultural use, to include land devoted to alternative energy systems.

Specifically, Act 109 amends the definitions of “agricultural reserve,” “agricultural use” and “forest reserve” to include “any land devoted to the development and operation of an alternative energy system, if a majority of the energy annually generated is utilized on the tract.” An “alternative energy system” is defined as a “facility or energy system that utilizes a Tier 1 energy source [as defined by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act] to generate alternative energy,” including “a facility or system that generates alternative energy for utilization onsite or for delivery of the energy generated to an energy distribution company or to an energy transmission system operated by a regional transmission organization.”

The amendment to the Act further allows landowners enrolled under Act 319 to use their land for commercial wind production where more than half of the produced energy is sold and used off of the tract of land, but subjects the land devoted to such use to rollback taxes. The remaining land stays in preferential treatment.

For more information, please contact Kimberly A. Freimuth at 215.918.3627 or [email protected]