Act 319 - "Clean & Green"

  • 10 Acres minimum or $2,000 gross yearly agricultural income.
  • Only land assessment is affected.
  • Land assessment is based on the agricultural use value of the land according to the productivity of the soil.
  • Act 319 assessment remains on property in perpetuity until a change in use occurs or owner requests a voluntary breach at which point the land can not be re-enrolled in the program by that same owner.
  • Owner may include more than 1 deeded parcel under an application - parcels must be held in common ownership and must be contiguous.
  • The entire tax parcel must be enrolled in the program. No exclusions of any portion from any tax parcel are permitted.
Owner is permitted to subdivide 10% of the enrolled property for residential purposes, but not more than a total of 10 acres, and not more than 2 acres per year, except if the required minimum lot size is more than 2 acres the split off may exceed 2 acres but not more than 3 acres. Roll-back taxes on split off acres must be paid. Owner may separate 10 or more acres, provided no parcel less than 10 acres is created. Owner of separated parcel may build a personal residence.

However, if the new owner of any separated parcel breaches the covenant, that person will be responsible for paying the roll-back taxes for the entire property under the covenant. Owner who changes the use of the land is responsible for the roll-back taxes for the entire property up to 7 years after the separation. After 7 years, each parcel is treated separately. Roll-back taxes are paid up to 7 years maximum plus 6% interest compounded annually. Applications are accepted March 1 - June 1.

Preferential Assessment

  • Land may be eligible for preferential assessment under the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974 (Act 319) when it meets the minimum qualifications for one of 3 eligible use categories described by the Act.
  • Enrollment period runs from March 1 to June 1 of each year. The property owner must make separate application for each non-contiguous tract of land on which they desire use-value assessment.
  • Applications must be received by the Chester County Assessment Office by June first. The application may be filed in person or by mail to: Chester County Assessment Office, 313 W. Market St, Suite 4202, West Chester, PA 19380-0991
  • Any questions regarding the proper completion of the application, call 610-344-6105. The application is available for download, but cannot be submitted electronically. All signatures on the applications must be notarized.