Clarion County plans to offer Clean and Green program

Clarion County is offering qualified property owners a way to save money on their taxes.

Leah Smith, the county’s G.I.S. director, told county commissioners at their meeting this week the county will now be able to implement the Clean and Green program.

Smith said the program isn’t new but the county has been unable to take part in the plan due to outdated assessment information. The county is currently undergoing its first physical assessment of properties in almost 50 years.

Clean and Green is formally known as the Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Assessment Act of 1974.

The law allows land parcels that are 10 acres or more in size and are devoted to agriculture and forest land use to be assessed at value for that use rather than the fair market value.

The intent of the act was to encourage property owners to retain their land in agriculture and forest use and to provide some tax relief to landowners.

Smith said property owners benefit directly by receiving some tax relief as long as they don’t convert their land to housing developments or other types of non-agricultural commercial businesses.

The county will assign two values to the property — a fair market value and the agricultural use value (also known as the Clean and Green value).

The fair market value is determined through an analysis of recent sales of comparable real estate within the county.

The agricultural value of the property doesn’t consider all uses for the land or the highest and best use for the land. It considers only the worth of the property for agricultural purposes such as tillable land, woodland and pastureland.

Structures on the property are not a part of the Clean and Green assessment. Inclusion into the program is at the discretion of the property owner.

Smith said that to be eligible, the parcel must be 10 acres or more in size, the land is devoted to agricultural use, and the anticipated annual gross income of $2,000 or more is derived from agricultural commodities.

Smith said there is a one-time application fee to enroll in the program.

Smith said applications for the program are available by calling the county’s assessment office at (814) 226-4000 or by visiting the county website at

The county also revealed a new assessment form that will be available through municipal offices. The form requires basic information such as the type of building, proposed use, room count, sewage and water provisions and other information.