PA Landowners with Marcellus Wells: The (Property) Tax Man Cometh

A developing story for Pennsylvania landowners, as reported by WTAE Channel 4 (ABC) Pittsburgh: If you’re a PA landowner with over 10 acres of farmland or woodlands, it’s likely you pay a much lower tax rate on the land because of the “Clean and Green” Act–technically known as the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974. Clean and Green is meant to keep taxes on farms and other agricultural-types of property lower, based on the land’s value for agriculture, rather than taxed on the land’s prevailing or “full market” value. When the land’s use changes, however, to something like an industrial use (i.e. used for a drill pad), the landowner is responsible for paying higher taxes on the prevailing market value for that portion of land used for that purpose.

If you haven’t been paying a higher tax rate for the portion of your land used for drilling (as we understand it, only the surface portion used–where there’s a drill pad), you may retroactively owe back taxes. It seems that the Clean and Green tax issue for landowners with Marcellus wells on their property is now heating up, and if you’re not paying the higher tax, it’s being spun that you’re “hurting ordinary taxpayers”…

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