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Governor Corbett’s 2012/2013 budget sets a course to permanently eliminate the only significant state dedicated funding for farmland preservation in Pennsylvania.
Farmland preservation receives $20.5M of Pennsylvania’s cigarette tax revenue each year. The Governor’s budget proposal calls for permanently redirecting that funding to the state’s general fund. For 2012 and 2013, the Governor proposes to replace the cigarette tax revenue with anticipated revenue from bond premiums. However, after these transition years, Pennsylvania will have no significant source of funding for farmland preservation.
State funding for farmland preservation creates an incentive for counties and townships to allocate local funds for farmland preservation. This relationship is how Pennsylvania has preserved more than 450,000 acres of farmland on more than 4,000 Pennsylvania family farms. Access to a steady source of matching funding has been a key reason that this partnership has been so successful.
Governor Corbett’s proposal would devastate the most successful farmland preservation program in the nation, a program that has enjoyed consistent support from Pennsylvania voters and tax payers for nearly a quarter century.
What Can YOU do?
Call or write your state senator and representative now and tell them to protect cigarette tax revenue for farmland preservation because investing in agriculture means investing in our future!
Why is funding for farmland preservation important?
Farmland preservation is an investment in our agricultural industry.
- The number one industry in Pennsylvania, Agriculture has a $50 Billion impact on our state economy.
- Agriculture provides one of every seven jobs in Pennsylvania.
- Without farmland, there will be no agricultural industry.
Farmland preservation helps to balance municipal budgets.
- Farmland generates more in property tax revenue than it demands in municipal services.
- Housing developments and the services they require are a net revenue loss for communities.
- Without farmland, costs of community services will rise.
Tell your state senator and representative that farmland preservation is a long term investment that cannot be traded to balance the short the term budget.
Tell them to protect cigarette tax revenue for farmland preservation!