It sent off an application to the state.
Application has been made to the state by Frederick County for more money to preserve farmland. The Commissioners on Tuesday gave their okay to the request to increase the percentage of revenue it receives from the Agricultural Transfer Tax. That levy is imposed on property that's being sold, and will not be used any longer for farming. The revenue is used to purchase easements or development rights from farmers so they don't sell their properties to developers.
"Frederick County has been dedicated to preserving farmland," says Commissioners' President Blaine Young. "The past board, this board, is going for the same initiative. We want to preserve as much farmland as possible."
The County has been certified by the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation since 2009. That means that it receives about 40% of the revenues taken in by the Agricultural Transfer Tax. In 2009, it collected $1.1-million, and received $828,759 as its share. In 2011, only $68,329 was collected , and the county only kept $51,247.
With the recertification, the County could receive 75% of the revenue collected from the Transfer Tax.
Several years ago, the County set as its goal to place 100,000 acres in agricultural preservation by 2020. "Our folks at the county looked at that goal, and that goal will have to modified," Young says. "Because, A, the goal was a little aggressive; and two, the funds that were once there for farmland preservation are not there in this type of economy."
County staff say modifying that goal will not hinder the recertification.
Young says it's a great way to keep farming alive and well in Frederick County. "Especially, we want to help those keep and stay on the working farms we have in Frederick County," he says.