§ 137b.2. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974 (72 P. S. § §  5490.1—5490.13), commonly referred to as the Clean and Green Act.

   Agricultural commodity—Any of the following:

     (i)   Agricultural, apicultural, aquacultural, horticultural, floricultural, silvicultural, viticultural and dairy products.

     (ii)   Pasture.

     (iii)   Livestock and the products thereof.

     (iv)   Ranch-raised furbearing animals and the products thereof.

     (v)   Poultry and the products of poultry.

     (vi)   Products commonly raised or produced on farms which are intended for human consumption or are transported or intended to be transported in commerce.

     (vii)   Processed or manufactured products of products commonly raised or produced on farms which are intended for human consumption or are transported or intended to be transported in commerce.

     (viii)   Compost.

   Agricultural reserve—Noncommercial open space lands used for outdoor recreation or the enjoyment of scenic or natural beauty and open to the public for that use, without charge or fee, on a nondiscriminatory basis. The term includes 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.

   Agricultural use—Land which is used for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity or is devoted to and meets the requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation under a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the Federal government.

     (i)   The term includes any farmstead land on the tract.

     (ii)   The term includes a woodlot.

     (iii)   The term includes land which is rented to another person and used for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity.

     (iv)   The term includes 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.

   Agritainment

     (i)   Farm-related tourism or farm-related entertainment activities which are permitted or authorized by a landowner in return for a fee on agricultural land for recreational or educational purposes.

     (ii)   The term includes corn mazes, hay mazes, farm tours and hay rides.

     (iii)   The term does not include activities authorized under section 8(d) of the act (72 P. S. §  5490.8(d)).

   Alternative energy system—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.

   Assessment ratio or county’s established predetermined ratio—The ratio established by a taxing body that determines on what portion of the assessed value the millage rate is to be levied, as prescribed by assessment law.

   Capitalization rate—The percentage rate used to convert income to value, as determined by the most recent 5-year rolling average of 15-year fixed loan interest rates offered to landowners by the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation or other similar Federal agricultural lending institution, adjusted to include the landowner’s risk of investment and the effective tax rate.

   Change of use

     (i)   The alteration of enrolled land so that it is no longer agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve land.

     (ii)   The term does not include:

       (A)   The act of subdividing enrolled land if the subdivided land is not conveyed.

       (B)   The act of conveying subdivided enrolled land to the same landowner who owned it immediately prior to subdivision.

   Class A beneficiaries for inheritance tax purposes—The following relations to a decedent: grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, husband, wife, lineal descendants, wife, widow, husband or widower of a child. Lineal descendants include all children of the natural parents and their descendants, whether or not they have been adopted by others, adopted descendants and their descendants and step descendants.

   Compost—Material resulting from the biological digestion of dead animals, animal waste or other biodegradable materials, at least 50% by volume of which is comprised of products commonly produced on farms.

   Contiguous tract

     (i)   All portions of one operational unit as described in the deed or deeds, whether or not the portions are divided by streams, public roads or bridges and whether or not the portions are described as multiple tax parcels, tracts, purparts or other property identifiers.

     (ii)   The term includes supportive lands, such as unpaved field access roads, drainage areas, border strips, hedgerows, submerged lands, marshes, ponds and streams.

   Contributory value of farm building—The value of the farm building as an allocated portion of the total fair market value assigned to the tract, irrespective of replacement cost of the building.

   County—The county assessor, the county board of assessment or other county entity responsible to perform or administer a specific function under the act.

   County commissioners—The board of county commissioners or other similar body in home rule charter counties.

   Curtilage—The land surrounding a residential structure and farm building used for a yard, driveway, onlot sewage system or access to any building on the tract.

   Department—The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.

   Direct commercial sales—Retail or wholesale sales of agriculturally related commodities to customers who are physically present onsite to make purchases.

   Division by conveyance or other action of the owner

     (i)   When used in the context of a separation or a split-off, the term refers to either:

       (A)   A conveyance, a subdivision, a land development plan or comparable plan required by a local government unit.

       (B)   An owner-initiated process that produces a metes and bounds description of the separated or split-off land and a calculation of the acreage of that separated or split-off land.

     (ii)   The term does not include:

       (A)   The act of subdividing enrolled land if the subdivided land is not conveyed.

       (B)   The act of conveying subdivided enrolled land to the same landowner who owned it immediately prior to subdivision.

   Enrolled land—Land eligible for preferential assessment under an approved application for preferential assessment filed in accordance with the act.

   Fair market value—The price as of the valuation date for the highest and best use of the property which a willing and informed seller who is not obligated to sell would accept for the property, and which a willing and informed buyer who is under no obligation to buy would pay for the property.

   Farm building—A structure utilized to store, maintain or house farm implements, agricultural commodities or crops, livestock and livestock products, as defined in the Agricultural Area Security Law (3 P. S. § §  901—915).

   Farmstead land—Any curtilage and land situated under a residence, farm building or other building which supports a residence, including a residential garage or workshop.

   Forest reserve—Land, 10 acres or more, stocked by forest trees of any size and capable of producing timber or other wood products. The term includes 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.

   Income approach—The method of valuation which uses a capitalization rate to convert annual net income to an estimate of present value. Present value is equal to the net annual return to land divided by the capitalization rate.

   Ineligible land—Land which is not used for any of the three eligible uses (agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve) and therefore cannot receive use value assessment.

   Land use category—Agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve.

   Land use subcategory—A category of land in agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve established by the Department and assigned a particular use value in accordance with sections 3 and 4.1 of the act (72 P. S. § §  5490.3 and 5490.4a). A land use subcategory of agricultural use or agricultural reserve land may be based upon soil type, soil group or any other recognized subcategorization of agricultural land. A land use subcategory of forest reserve land may be based upon forest type or other recognized subcategorization of forest land, and may be a county-specific average timber value.

   Net return to land—Annual net income per acre after operating expenses are subtracted from gross income. The calculation of operating expenses does not include interest or principal payments.

   Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act—52 P. S. § §  3301—3326.

   Normal assessment—The total fair market value of buildings and ineligible land, as of the base year of assessment, on a tract multiplied by the assessment ratio.

   Oil and Gas Act—58 Pa.C.S. § §  3201—3274 (relating to development).

   Outdoor recreation

     (i)   Passive recreational use of land that does not entail the erection of permanent structures or any change to the land which would render it incapable of being immediately converted to agricultural use. Examples include picnicking, hiking, wildlife watching and hunting, subject to the restrictions in §  137b.64 (relating to agricultural reserve land to be open to the public).

     (ii)   The term does not include the operation of motor vehicles other than under either of the following circumstances:

       (A)   When necessary to remove an animal which has been hunted.

       (B)   When the motor vehicle is operated over an existing lane and is incidental to hunting, fishing, swimming, access for boating, animal riding, camping, picnicking, hiking, agritainment activities or the operation of nonmotorized vehicles.

   Pasture—Land, other than land enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program, used primarily for the growing of grasses and legumes for consumption by livestock.

   Person—A corporation, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, other association, government entity (other than the Commonwealth), estate, trust, foundation or natural person.

   Preferential assessment—The total use value of land qualifying for assessment under the act.

   Recreational activity—The term includes, but is not limited to:

     (i)   Hunting.

     (ii)   Fishing.

     (iii)   Swimming.

     (iv)   Access for boating.

     (v)   Animal riding.

     (vi)   Camping.

     (vii)   Picnicking.

     (viii)   Hiking.

     (ix)   Agritainment activities.

     (x)   Operation of nonmotorized vehicles.

     (xi)   Viewing or exploring a site for aesthetic or historical benefit or for entertainment.

     (xii)   Operation of motorized vehicles if the operation is either of the following:

       (A)   Over an existing lane and incidental to an activity in subparagraphs (i)—(x).

       (B)   Necessary to remove an animal which has been hunted under subparagraph (i).

   Roll-back tax—The amount equal to the difference between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the valuation and the assessment authorized under the act and the taxes that would have been paid or payable had that land not been valued, assessed and taxed as other land in the taxing district in the current tax year, the year of change, and in 6 of the previous tax years or the number of years of preferential assessment up to 7.

   Rural enterprise incidental to the operational unit—A commercial enterprise or venture that is all of the following:

     (i)   Owned and operated by the landowner or by the landowner’s beneficiaries who are Class A beneficiaries for inheritance tax purposes.

     (ii)   Conducted within 2 acres or less of enrolled land.

     (iii)   When conducted, does not permanently impede or otherwise interfere with the production of an agricultural commodity on that portion of the enrolled land that is not subject to roll-back taxes under section 8(d) of the act as a result of that commercial enterprise or venture.

   Separation—A division, by conveyance or other action of the owner, of lands devoted to agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and preferentially assessed under the act, into two or more tracts of land, the use of which continues to be agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and all tracts so formed meet the requirements of section 3 of the act.

   Silvicultural products

     (i)   Trees and tree products produced from Christmas tree farms, tree nurseries, tree greenhouses, orchards and similar actively-cultivated tree or tree product production operations.

     (ii)   The term does not include trees and tree-derived products produced from forest land regardless of whether the trees or tree-derived products are harvested from forest land in accordance with a timber management plan.

   Split-off—A division, by conveyance or other action of the owner, of lands devoted to agricultural use, agricultural reserve or forest reserve and preferentially assessed under the act, into two or more tracts of land, the use of which on one or more of the tracts does not meet the requirements of section 3 of the act.

   Tier I energy source—A Tier I alternative energy source as defined in section 2 of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (73 P. S. §  1648.2).

   Tract

     (i)   A lot, piece or parcel of land.

     (ii)   The term does not refer to any precise dimension of land.

   Transfer—A conveyance of all of the enrolled land described in a single application for preferential assessment under the act.

   USDA—The United States Department of Agriculture.

   USDA-ERS—The United States Department of Agriculture—Economic Research Service.

   USDA-NRCS—The United States Department of Agriculture—Natural Resources Conservation Service.

   Woodlot—An area of less than 10 acres, stocked by trees of any size and contiguous to or part of land in agricultural use or agricultural reserve.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  137b.2 amended under section 11 of the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974 (72 P. S. §  5490.11).

Source

   The provisions of this §  137b.2 amended June 26, 2015, effective June 27, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 3311. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (276908) to (276911).



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