Proposed Legislation in Pennsylvania

October 2010Newsletters In the Zone

House Bill No. 1394 proposes to expand what is commonly known as Act 319, which allows preferential assessments for land devoted to agricultural use, agricultural reserve use or forest reserve use. The proposed legislation would expand the definitions of “agricultural use,” “agricultural reserve” and “forest reserve use” by allowing the inclusion of “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.”

House Bill No. 1394 defines “alternative energy system” as “a facility or energy system that utilizes a Tier I energy source to generate alternative energy. The term includes 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 proposed legislation also provides that “portions of land subject to preferential assessment may be leased or otherwise devoted to a wind power generation system.” Furthermore, while House Bill No. 1394 states roll-back taxes would be imposed upon the portions of land actually devoted by the landowner for wind power generation system purposes and the fair market value of those portions of land shall be adjusted accordingly, the utilization of a portion of land for a wind power generation system would not invalidate the preferential assessment of land that is not so utilized.

For more information, please contact David H. Comer at 610.397.7963 or [email protected].