Pennsylvania farmers get $13 million in water and soil improvement tax credits
Pennsylvania farmers could receive up to $13 million in tax credits to improve soil and water quality, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced Friday.
The credits will be funded by the state’s conservation funding program, Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP). They can be combined with other government funding, including the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, Chesapeake Bay Program, or Conservation Excellence Grants.
“Farmers have led the way, investing heavily in cleaner water and productive soil to sustain us into the future,” Redding said. “REAP tax credits are just one of the many ways Pennsylvania is investing in our farmers’ efforts to develop a sustainable agricultural economy to feed our future.”
The Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for tax credits from agricultural producers who implement best practices or purchase equipment that would reduce nutrient or sediment runoff, which would improve the soil and improve the quality of the water.
Redding’s office said this is the fourth year the program has received increased funding and expanded program eligibility under the PA Farm Bill.
Farmers can get up to $250,000 over seven years. Spouses filing jointly can also use REAP tax credits. Tax credits cover between 50 and 75 percent of a project’s eligible out-of-pocket costs, but farmers whose farm is in a watershed with an EPA-mandated total maximum daily load (TMDL) are eligible for REAP tax credits up to 90%. percent of reimbursable expenses.
Funded projects can include no-till and precision farming equipment, waste storage facilities, conservation plans and nutrient management plans. Measures that limit runoff from high animal traffic areas such as backyards are also common practices eligible for REAP.