CARLISLE, PA - 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.
The County will issue change of assessment notices in August for the properties that have their base acre reassessed. Owners will have 40 days to appeal. This change will not apply to the rest of the land in agricultural or forest reserve, just to the acre of land under the improvements. Approximately 25% of the 3000 Cumberland County Clean and Green properties may be affected. Questions about the Clean and Green should be directed to the Cumberland County Assessment Office at 240.6350.