Pa. reader questions Clean & Green assessments

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Editor:

I found myself involved in informal hearings on the reassessment of five separate tax parcels in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Two of these parcels included Clean & Green, which is a program that most farmers in Washington County have their acreage assessed under. Those two Clean & Green parcels could not be discussed at the informal hearings, because Tyler Associates legally could not reassess Clean & Green acres in Washington County, nor any county in Pennsylvania.

All counties in Pennsylvania have the same rates for Clean & Green acreage handed down to them from our Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture under our uniform state law.

Every county across the state of Pennsylvania must use these rates that apply to Clean & Green. All county commissioners across the state of Pennsylvania can at anytime vote to lower the rates handed to them from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on the assessed values of Clean & Green, but they legally can never raise the rates.

Others can read the Pennsylvania law on Clean & Green here: www.pacode.com/secure/data/007/chapter137b/chap137btoc.html

It is my understanding that the Washington County Commissioners through our Washington County Assessors office is allowing usage of the highest rate allowed by Pennsylvania law when billing for taxes on Washington County Pennsylvania Clean & Green parcels.

My question to our county commissioners, who claim to have voted against signing onto this reassessment in spite of court documents that prove different, why won’t you vote to lower the rates on taxing the Clean & Green properties in Washington County for our farmers and others who own Clean & Green parcels?

Rebecca L. Simpson
Washington, Pennsylvania

 

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