Cutler Legislation to Exempt Family Farms from Realty Transfer Tax Approved by House Finance Committee

HARRISBURG – The House Finance Committee today approved legislation authored by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) that would reverse a policy change enacted by the Rendell Administration to allow the state to tax farm owners who reorganize for corporate liability reasons.  Cutler’s legislation would exempt the transfer of real estate devoted to agriculture from the realty transfer tax if it is for the purpose of business reorganization.


“Despite our best preservation efforts, we still are seeing family farms disappear because farmers are disappearing,” said Cutler.  “Part of the reason for this continued decline in the number of farms and farmers is the Commonwealth’s inhospitable tax structure.  Pennsylvania’s tax system treats the transfer of agricultural lands differently than it handles other realty transfers.  My legislation will ensure that the same tax collection standards are applied to farmland transfers as are used for other similar transactions.”


House Bill 761 would exclude from the realty transfer tax the transmission of real estate devoted to agriculture, if the transfer is to a family farm, general, limited or limited liability partnership by a member of the same family, if the family directly owns at least 75 percent of the interests in the partnership.  It would also exempt a transfer between members of the same family of an ownership interest in a real estate company, family farm corporation, general, limited or limited liability partnership which owns real estate.


Cutler noted a 2000 court decision established the principle that a conveyance of realty owned by a general partnership to a “succeeding” limited partnership would not be considered a “transfer of realty” if the partners and proportionate share of ownership interests among the partners remains the same.


House Bill 761 will now go before the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.


More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at or

State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nicole Wamsley

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