HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania farmers who want to use best management practices or purchase on-farm conservation equipment can apply for $3.5 million in remaining tax credits through the Resource Enhancement and Protection, or REAP, program.
REAP provides tax credits to agricultural producers who install best management practices or make equipment purchases that will reduce erosion and sedimentation that could impact Pennsylvania’s streams and watersheds.
Farmers who have completed or proposed projects may submit applications to the State Conservation Commission now until all available tax credits are committed. The projects will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The state’s investment of $49.5 million over the past six years has provided our farmers an additional boost to their efforts to protect the environment and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “REAP continues to support Pennsylvania’s mission of improving water quality while helping our farms remain viable and productive.”
Farmers may receive tax credits of up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50 or 75 percent of the total project cost. The most common projects approved are for no-till planting equipment, construction of waste-storage facilities, manure management plans and protecting heavy animal use areas like barnyards.
Private investors can sponsor producers by providing capital when a project is approved in return for tax credits. Any individual or business subject to taxation under Personal Income Tax, Corporate Net Income Tax, Bank Shares Tax and others, is eligible to participate in REAP.
Since the program began in 2007, REAP has awarded tax credits to 2,722 projects totaling $34 million. Public and private enterprises have invested $82.4 million in these projects.
REAP has helped reduce an estimated runoff of nearly 12 million pounds of nitrogen, 878,665 pounds of phosphorus and 881,966 tons of sediment through 2011.
Applications for the 2013-14 REAP program are available at www.pda.state.pa.us/REAP under “Forms,” or by contacting Joel Semke jsemke<\@>pa.gov with the State Conservation Commission at 717-787-8821.
Source: Pa. Department of Agriculture.