Conservation Referenda

A conservation referendum is a highly successful mechanism for raising money that is dedicated to a specific conservation purpose. Open space of agricultural, recreational, natural, scenic, historic and/or cultural importance to a community can be protected using funds approved by voters in a primary or general election. If a local government hasn’t exceeded its taxation or debt limits, voter approval of funding for conservation projects isn’t necessary. Nevertheless, a referendum can be highly desirable because the referendum will serve to permanently dedicate the proposed tax or bond revenue to the conservation purpose described in the referendum. Cities, boroughs and townships in Pennsylvania are permitted to levy dedicated property, earned income and real estate transfer taxes for land conservation with the approval of a simple majority of voters through a ballot measure. State law does not provide this authority to counties. Both county and local government units in Pennsylvania may issue bonds with the proceeds dedicated to conservation projects with the approval of a simple majority of voters.

Learn more at ConservationTools.org.

Conservation Referenda Measures in Pennsylvania

Jurisdiction Name Year Mechanism $ Approved Pass? Status % Yes % No
Patton Twp 2014 Bond $3,500,000 yes Pass 63.51% 36.49%
Williams Twp 2014 Income tax no Fail 49.66% 50.34%
Silver Spring Twp 2013 Income tax $4,800,000 yes Pass 59.63% 40.37%
Allen Twp 2012 Income tax no Fail 43.52% 56.48%
Harris Twp 2012 Income tax no Fail 49.33% 50.67%
Warrington Twp 2012 Bond $3,000,000 yes Pass 66.05% 33.95%
Allen Twp 2011 Income tax no Fail 43.51% 56.49%
Franklin Twp 2011 Income tax no Fail 47.55% 52.45%
Franklin Twp 2011 Income tax no Fail 41.22% 58.78%
Lower Saucon Twp 2011 Income tax $4,125,000 yes Pass 56.58% 43.42%
East Coventry Twp 2010 Income tax $7,650,000 yes Pass 53.40% 46.60%
Pennsbury Twp 2009 Property tax $5,000,000 yes Pass 61.60% 38.40%
Plumstead Twp 2009 Bond $4,500,000 yes Pass 51.17% 48.83%
Adams County 2008 Bond $10,000,000 yes Pass 75.24% 24.76%
Buckingham Twp 2008 Bond $20,000,000 yes Pass 82.34% 17.66%
Charlestown Twp 2008 Income tax $20,000,000 yes Pass 76.84% 23.16%
Hatfield Twp 2008 Income tax no Fail 43.09% 56.91%
Lower Makefield Twp 2008 Bond $15,000,000 yes Pass 68.54% 31.46%
Newtown Twp 2008 Income tax $13,600,000 yes Pass 60.61% 39.39%
Upper Dublin Twp 2008 Bond $30,000,000 yes Pass 67.14% 32.86%
Upper Saucon Twp 2008 Income tax no Fail 49.77% 50.23%
Bucks County 2007 Bond $87,000,000 yes Pass 74.01% 25.99%
Heidelberg Twp 2007 Income tax no Fail 49.37% 50.63%
Jackson Twp 2007 Income tax $8,000,000 yes Pass 73.53% 26.47%
Milford Twp 2007 Bond $5,000,000 yes Pass 62.31% 37.69%
Plainfield Twp 2007 Income tax $6,000,000 yes Pass 59.52% 40.48%
Upper Mount Bethel Twp 2007 Income tax $5,650,000 yes Pass 67.72% 32.28%
West Pikeland Twp 2007 Income tax $11,000,000 yes Pass 61.33% 38.67%
East Pikeland Twp 2006 Income tax $5,000,000 yes Pass 64.99% 35.01%
East Rockhill Twp 2006 Income tax $3,000,000 yes Pass 53.13% 46.88%
East Vincent Twp 2006 Income tax $4,000,000 yes Pass 55.45% 44.55%
Elk Twp 2006 Income tax $2,500,000 yes Pass 65.24% 34.76%
London Grove Twp 2006 Income tax $5,500,000 yes Pass 51.44% 48.56%
Lower Mount Bethel Twp 2006 Income tax $3,000,000 yes Pass 75.57% 24.43%
Lower Saucon Twp 2006 Income tax $3,500,000 yes Pass 60.15% 39.85%
Middle Smithfield Twp 2006 Income tax no Fail 43.56% 56.44%
New Hanover Twp 2006 Income tax $3,000,000 yes Pass 56.57% 43.43%
Paradise Twp 2006 Income tax $2,000,000 yes Pass 71.75% 28.25%
Plainfield Twp 2006 Income tax no Fail 42.05% 57.95%
Pocopson Twp 2006 Property tax $5,500,000 yes Pass 63.64% 36.36%
Radnor Twp 2006 Bond $20,000,000 yes Pass 78.67% 21.33%
Schuylkill Twp 2006 Income tax $18,000,000 yes Pass 63.58% 36.42%
Springfield Twp 2006 Bond $5,000,000 yes Pass 73.95% 26.05%
Upper Dublin Twp 2006 Bond yes Pass* 65.20% 34.80%
Upper Merion Twp 2006 Bond $5,000,000 yes Pass 84.59% 15.41%
Upper Pottsgrove Twp 2006 Income tax $2,720,000 yes Pass 59.77% 40.23%
Warwick Twp 2006 Bond $7,000,000 yes Pass 72.01% 27.99%
West Vincent Twp 2006 Income tax $3,700,000 yes Pass 70.50% 29.50%
Whitemarsh Twp 2006 Income tax $20,000,000 yes Pass 62.12% 37.88%
Wrightstown Twp 2006 Bond $1,500,000 yes Pass 77.90% 22.10%
Barrett Twp 2005 Property tax $600,000 yes Pass 56.67% 43.33%
Bedminster Twp 2005 Bond $2,500,000 yes Pass 68.90% 31.10%
Bedminster Twp 2005 Income tax $10,270,660 yes Pass 50.79% 49.21%
Bushkill Twp 2005 Income tax $3,140,000 yes Pass 65.72% 34.28%
Chadds Ford Twp 2005 Property tax $2,500,000 yes Pass 71.78% 28.22%
Derry Twp 2005 Income tax no Fail 44.18% 55.82%
Honey Brook Twp 2005 Income tax $10,000,000 yes Pass 51.19% 48.81%
Kennett Twp 2005 Income tax $14,000,000 yes Pass 75.87% 24.13%
Middle Smithfield Twp 2005 Income tax no Fail 49.01% 50.99%
Middletown Twp 2005 Bond $8,500,000 yes Pass 79.21% 20.79%
Moore Twp 2005 Income tax $10,000,000 yes Pass 54.73% 45.27%
Mount Joy Twp 2005 Bond $2,000,000 yes Pass 61.21% 38.79%
Pennsylvania 2005 Bond $297,500,000 yes Pass 60.56% 39.44%
Pike County 2005 Bond $10,000,000 yes Pass 67.36% 32.64%
Plumstead Twp 2005 Bond $8,000,000 yes Pass 76.87% 23.13%
Schuylkill Twp 2005 Bond no Fail 41.79% 58.21%
Solebury Twp 2005 Bond $18,000,000 yes Pass 87.67% 12.33%
South Middleton Twp 2005 Income tax no Fail 44.33% 55.67%
Upper Makefield Twp 2005 Bond $10,000,000 yes Pass 80.10% 19.90%
Wallace Twp 2005 Income tax no Fail 36.96% 63.04%
Concord Twp 2004 Property tax $6,000,000 yes Pass 70.74% 29.26%
East Nottingham Twp 2004 Income tax $8,800,000 yes Pass 50.23% 49.77%
Highland Twp 2004 Income tax $2,000,000 yes Pass 61.99% 38.01%
Nockamixon Twp 2004 Income tax $3,800,000 yes Pass 60.43% 39.57%
Northampton Twp 2004 Income tax no Fail 49.09% 50.91%
Perkiomen Twp 2004 Income tax $4,500,000 yes Pass 69.27% 30.73%
West Rockhill Twp 2004 Income tax $5,000,000 yes Pass 54.50% 45.50%
Williams Twp 2004 Income tax $4,500,000 yes Pass 69.76% 30.24%
East Hempfield Twp 2003 Income tax no Fail 46.69% 53.31%
East Nantmeal Twp 2003 Income tax $2,000,000 yes Pass 57.50% 42.50%
East Nottingham Twp 2003 Income tax no Fail 40.93% 59.07%
Hellam Twp 2003 Property tax no Fail 39.03% 60.97%
London Grove Twp 2003 Income tax no Fail 49.11% 50.89%
Londonderry Twp 2003 Income tax $1,340,000 yes Pass 63.45% 36.55%
Lower Oxford Twp 2003 Income tax $6,000,000 yes Pass 60.63% 39.37%
Montgomery County 2003 Bond $112,500,000 yes Pass 77.63% 22.37%
South Abington Twp 2003 Bond $1,250,000 yes Pass 55.39% 44.61%
Upper Oxford Twp 2003 Income tax $3,423,020 yes Pass 53.56% 46.44%
Upper Providence Twp 2003 Bond $6,000,000 yes Pass 65.31% 34.69%
Warwick Twp 2003 Income tax $1,700,000 yes Pass 56.29% 43.71%
West Brandywine Twp 2003 Income tax $4,000,000 yes Pass 53.56% 46.44%
West Sadsbury 2003 Income tax $1,420,000 yes Pass 52.65% 47.35%
Amity Twp 2002 Income tax no Fail 64.74% 35.26%
Bedminster Twp 2002 Bond $2,500,000 yes Pass 76.82% 23.18%
East Brandywine Twp 2002 Income tax $3,500,000 yes Pass 73.80% 26.20%
East Vincent Twp 2002 Income tax $13,600,000 yes Pass 79.93% 20.07%
Franklin Twp 2002 Property tax $2,400,000 yes Pass 70.07% 29.93%
Lehigh County 2002 Bond $30,000,000 yes Pass 70.62% 29.38%
North Coventry Twp 2002 Income tax $8,000,000 yes Pass 76.66% 23.34%
Northampton County 2002 Bond $37,000,000 yes Pass 64.77% 35.23%
Richland Twp 2002 Income tax $3,000,000 yes Pass 56.36% 43.64%
Richland Twp 2002 Bond $4,000,000 yes Pass 58.24% 41.76%
Solebury Twp 2002 Bond $12,000,000 yes Pass 86.89% 13.11%
Tinicum Twp 2002 Income tax $5,000,000 yes Pass 65.28% 34.72%
Upper Southampton Twp 2002 Bond $2,000,000 yes Pass 69.47% 30.53%
West Vincent Twp 2002 Property tax $2,900,000 yes Pass 62.69% 37.31%
Wrightstown Twp 2002 Income tax $2,650,000 yes Pass 59.42% 40.58%
Wrightstown Twp 2002 Bond $1,500,000 yes Pass 70.49% 29.51%
Chestnuthill Twp 2001 Income tax no Fail 43.80% 56.20%
Franconia Twp 2001 Income tax $8,500,000 yes Pass 67.92% 32.08%
Hamilton Twp 2001 Income tax no Fail 42.20% 57.80%
Patton Twp 2001 Bond $2,500,000 yes Pass 63.13% 36.87%
Plumstead Twp 2001 Bond $6,000,000 yes Pass 75.93% 24.07%
Skippack Twp 2001 Income tax $8,955,208 yes Pass 57.27% 42.73%
Stroud Twp 2001 Income tax $3,600,000 yes Pass 53.48% 46.52%
East Bradford Twp 2000 Income tax $6,000,000 yes Pass 65.43% 34.57%
Hilltown Twp 2000 Income tax $12,000,000 yes Pass 69.05% 30.95%
London Britain Twp 2000 Property tax $720,000 yes Pass 63.21% 36.79%
New Britain Twp 2000 Income tax $6,900,000 yes Pass 67.08% 32.92%
Springfield Twp 2000 Bond no Fail
Springfield Twp 2000 Income tax $4,650,000 yes Pass
Upper Makefield Twp 2000 Bond $15,000,000 yes Pass 67.81% 32.19%
West Rockhill Twp 2000 Income tax $2,159,124 yes Pass 59.33% 40.67%
Buckingham Twp 1999 Bond $9,500,000 yes Pass 84.87% 15.13%
East Marlborough Twp 1999 Property tax $1,900,000 yes Pass 69.37% 30.63%
East Rockhill Twp 1999 Income tax $1,106,000 yes Pass 61.18% 38.82%
Halfmoon Twp 1999 Property tax $1,960,000 yes Pass 56.68% 43.32%
Plumstead Twp 1999 Income tax no Fail 47.51% 52.49%
Solebury Twp 1999 Bond $10,000,000 yes Pass 89.87% 10.13%
West Vincent Twp 1999 Property tax no Fail 39.59% 60.41%
Willistown Twp 1999 Income tax no Fail 49.89% 50.11%
East Bradford Twp 1998 Income tax $14,000,000 yes Pass 68.38% 31.62%
Lower Makefield Twp 1998 Bond $7,500,000 yes Pass 71.05% 28.95%
Monroe County 1998 Bond $25,000,000 yes Pass 51.96% 48.04%
Northampton Twp 1998 Bond $4,300,000 yes Pass 66.07% 33.93%
Bedminster Twp 1997 Bond $2,500,000 yes Pass 82.04% 17.96%
Milford Twp 1997 Property tax $1,027,500 yes Pass 58.65% 41.35%
Newtown Twp 1997 Income tax no Fail 46.41% 53.59%
Delaware County 1996 Bond no Fail 32.96% 67.04%
East Goshen Twp 1996 Bond $3,000,000 yes Pass 71.55% 28.45%
Hilltown Twp 1996 Bond no Fail 49.58% 50.42%
Plumstead Twp 1996 Bond $4,000,000 yes Pass 83.56% 16.44%
Solebury Twp 1996 Bond $4,000,000 yes Pass 92.55% 7.45%
Upper Makefield Twp 1996 Bond $6,000,000 yes Pass 77.38% 22.62%
Buckingham Twp 1995 Bond $4,000,000 yes Pass 82.44% 17.56%
Warrington Twp 1995 Bond $2,100,000 yes Pass 66.08% 33.92%
Warwick Twp 1995 Bond $1,500,000 yes Pass 71.96% 28.04%
Wrightstown Twp 1995 Bond $1,500,000 yes Pass 65.12% 34.88%
Bucks County 1994 Bond $3,500,000 yes Pass 66.87% 33.13%
Radnor Twp 1994 Bond no Fail
Radnor Twp 1994 Bond $10,000,000 yes Pass
Pennsylvania 1993 Bond $50,000,000 yes Pass 63.99% 36.01%
Chester County 1989 Bond $50,000,000 yes Pass 80.07% 19.93%
Lower Makefield Twp 1988 Bond no Fail 44.42% 55.58%

 

Information above courtesy of Trust for Public Land, Land Vote Database.