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Fixing the Fix: Retroactivity Now Part of Realty Transfer Tax Law

Last week, Stock and Leader reported that House Bill 2370 was passed in the Pennsylvania House to try and correct a mistake made earlier this year when amending the Realty Transfer Tax Law.  The correction allows for an exemption from transfer tax if the realty transfer was a conservation easement granted to the Commonwealth or political subdivision. However, the earlier amendment did not allow for retroactivity, which caused the Department of Revenue to notify conservation easement holders that it would be collecting realty transfer tax on easements going back to 2013.

On October 27, 2016, the bill correcting this oversight was made into law. As such, all conservation easements that were transferred to the Commonwealth or a political subdivision since January of 2013, and all such conservation easements going forward, will be exempt from realty transfer tax. This should come as a big sigh of relief for many Stock and Leader clients who have transferred easements for conservation purposes in the last few years.

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