WEST CHESTER (October 2, 2019) – Farmers considering on-farm conservation efforts and implementing best management practices can apply for state tax credits through Pennsylvania’s Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program, state Senator Andy Dinniman announced today.
Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the State Conservation Commission, REAP is a nationally-recognized program that incentivizes agricultural producers to purchase conservation equipment and materials that better protect the environment.
“Pennsylvania farmers make their living off the land and this program helps them do their part to safeguard our natural resources, local streams, and watersheds by making conservation-minded capital improvements and incorporating best management practices in their operations,” Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, said.
Now in its 12th year, REAP is designed to enhance farm production and protect natural resources by enabling farmers, landowners, and businesses to earn state income tax credits in exchange for implementing best conservation methods, specifically in reducing the amount of nutrient and sediment runoff and improving water quality.
As a result of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill (Act 36 of 2019), which Dinniman supported, this year’s REAP funding has increased to $13 million, up from $10 million. In addition, farmers may now receive up to $250,000 in any seven-year period, and spouses filing jointly can use REAP Tax Credits.
REAP applications are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The basic eligibility requirements are that producers must be in compliance with the PA Clean Streams Law and the Pennsylvania Nutrient and Odor Management Law.
The most common projects approved are for no-till planting and precision agricultural equipment, waste storage facilities, Conservation Plans, Nutrient Management Plans, and protecting heavy animal use areas like barnyards.
REAP can be used in conjunction with other funding sources such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or the Chesapeake Bay Program for purchases.
Private investors may act as a sponsor by providing capital to producers as a project is approved in return for tax credits. Any individual or business subject to taxation through Personal Income Tax, Corporate Net Income Tax, Bank Shares Tax or others is eligible to participate in REAP.
The 2019-20 REAP application packet, as well as other information about REAP, is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website, agriculture.pa.gov.
Last year, REAP awarded over $430,000 to farmers and landowners in Chester County, and $10 million throughout the commonwealth. Since 2007, REAP has helped improve the economic and environmental sustainability of over 2,500 farming operations statewide.