Clean & Green Program
Cumberland County Strengthens Clean & Green Program
Act 319 of 1974 was amended by Act 156 of 1998 and Act 235 of 2004, and requires that all NEW applications be RECEIVED by the Assessment Office on or before June 1st of the year immediately preceding the tax year for which the property owner wants to enroll the property. Exception: In a year when a county implements a county-wide reassessment, or a county-wide reassessment of enrolled land, the application deadline shall be extended to either a date 30 days after the final order of the county Board of Assessment Appeals, or by October 15 of the same year. This deadline is applicable regardless of whether judicial review of the order is sought.
Cumberland County Commissioners passed a resolution on July 13, 2006 designed to strengthen the Clean and Green program in Cumberland County. The resolution enacted provisions of Act 235 of 2004 which enable counties to remove preferential assessment from the "base acre" on which homestead or farmstead improvements exist for certain Clean and Green properties. This change only affects properties that are not in active agricultural use. Preferential assessment will continue on the base acre if the majority of the entire parcel enrolled in Clean and Green is in active agricultural production.
The Commonwealth enacted Act 235 in response to two significant problems. First, preferential tax treatment of the full acreage of non producing properties unfairly shifted property tax burden from qualifying properties to the remainder of the non qualifying properties - primarily residential. Second, it encouraged developmental sprawl by rewarding creation of 10 acre (the minimum size for Clean and Green enrollment) "mini estates" These are assessed at values up to 70% lower than a typical residential quarter acre lot for land value.
Questions about the Clean and Green should be directed to the Cumberland County Assessment Office at 717-240-6350.