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Skip Navigation LinksNorthampton County Website FISCAL AFFAIRS ASSESSMENT Administration of Various Exemption and Abatement Programs

Skip Navigation LinksPrograms Administration of Various Exemption and Abatement Programs

Act 319

​Clean and Green is a preferential tax assessment program that bases property taxes on use values rather than fair market values.  The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the program in 1974 as a tool to encourage protection of the Commonwealth's valuable farmland, forestland and open spaces. For application and regulations, please click here.

Act 515

​Also a Clean and Green preferential tax assessment program that had to be enacted by certain counties of the Commonwealth.  A resolution was adopted by the Northampton County Council on March 2, 1995 stating that applications for Act 515 can only be accepted if the applicant's property does not meet the requirements of Act 319. For regulations, please click here.

Act 43

​Allows for the creation of Agricultural Security Areas.  Under this act, local governments are not to pass ordinances that unreasonably restrict farm structures or practices.  It prevents local governments from defining or prohibiting as a "public nuisance" agricultural activities and operations conducted within the Security Area.

Act 149/4

​Act 149 is for Agricultural and Conservation Easements.  The entire parcel does not have to be entered into the easement.  The property may also be in Act 319/515.  Agricultural Easements involve Farmland Preservation where a government or other entity purchases development rights from the property owner.  A government entity buys a Conservation Easement from the property owner for open space or conservation purposes.


Act 4 involves a millage freeze.  The property must be in Act 149 and must involve a government entity.  All three taxing bodies must agree for the millage freeze to be approved.  The millage rates are frozen depending upon when the taxing bodies decided to approve.  Our parcel numbers will have an F or an X at the end of the district code.  There will be two parcels for each property – one with an F (millage frozen) and one with an X (no millage freeze).

Act 66

PURTA (Public Utility Realty Tax Act).  The public utility real estate tax is levied against certain entities furnishing utility services regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or a similar regulatory body.  The Commonwealth imposes this tax on public utility real estate in lieu of local real estate taxes and distributes the local real estate tax equivalent to local taxing authorities.​


A property owner who qualifies for the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion receives a discount on their annual school real estate tax bill.  An application must be filed by the property owner by March 1st in order to qualify for the discount on that year's bill.


Homestead: A dwelling, including the parcel of land on which the dwelling is located and the other improvements located on the parcel which is primarily used as the domicile of the property owner.


Farmstead: Only buildings or structures on farms, which are at least 10 contiguous acres in area and used as the primary residence (domicile) of the owner are eligible for a farmstead exemption.  The buildings and structures must be used for commercial agricultural production to store farm products produced on the farm, to house animals maintained on the farm, or to store agricultural supplies or machinery and equipment used on the farm.

KOZ (Keystone Opportunity Zone) and KOEZ (Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone)

​Programs to develop a community's abandoned, unused, and underutilized land and buildings with greatly reduced state and local taxes, including paying no real estate taxes.  Provides certain state and local tax abatement to businesses and residents located in designated zones.

LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act)

​Program that reduces the tax burden to a potential developer to entice them to develop targeted properties that would otherwise remain vacant or underutilized.  Property owners making assessable improvements to deteriorated property located in the district may be granted a real estate tax exemption based on percentages over the program's timeframe.

TIF (Tax Increment Financing)

​A public financing method that is used for subsidizing redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community improvement projects.  It dedicates tax increments within a certain defined district to finance the debt that is issued to pay for the project.  It creates funding for public or private projects by borrowing against the future increase in real estate tax revenues.

Veterans’ Exemption

A program that provides real estate tax exemption for any honorably discharged veteran who is 100% disabled, a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and has a financial need. This program is enforced by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.​

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