§ 138e.66. Offer of purchase by county board.
(a) In determining whether to offer to purchase an easement following receipt of the county appraisal report, the county board shall consider the following:
(1) The farmland ranking score, as calculated in accordance with § 138e.15 (relating to farmland ranking system).
(2) The cost relative to total allocations and appropriations.
(3) The factors or considerations set forth in the county program as those factors or conditions under which an offer to purchase would be made in something other than descending order of farmland ranking score. An example of a factor or consideration under which a county program might provide for the making of an offer to purchase in something other than descending order of farmland ranking score would be the landowner being unable to obtain clear title to the farmland tract within a time specified in the county program.
(b) If the county board determines to offer to purchase an easement on the farmland tract, the county board, or a representative of the county board, shall meet with the applicant to review the county appraisal report. An offer to purchase an easement shall be submitted to the applicant in writing and be accompanied by the county appraisal report.
(c) Within 30 days of receipt of the written offer from the county board, an applicant may do one of the following:
(1) Accept the offer, in which case the county board and the applicant shall enter into an agreement of sale. The agreement of sale shall be conditioned upon the approval of the State Board and be subject to the ability of the applicant to provide good title to the premises, free of encumbrances such as liens, mortgages, options, rights of others in surface mineable coal, land use restrictions, adverse ownership interest and other encumbrances which would adversely impact the county and Commonwealths interest in the farmland tract.
(2) Reject the offer and advise the county board that the application is withdrawn.
(3) Advise the county board that the applicant is retaining, at the applicants expense, an independent State-certified general real estate appraiser to determine the easement value. The appraiser shall be qualified, and the appraisal shall be completed in accordance with the procedure in § 138e.64 (relating to appraisal). The appraisal shall be submitted to the county board within 120 days of receipt of the county boards offer to purchase. The county board may extend the time within which this appraisal shall be submitted. This extension shall be in writing and shall extend the 120-day deadline by no more than 60 days. Upon completion, three copies of the applicants appraisal shall be submitted to the county board. The applicants decision to obtain an independent appraisal under this paragraph does not constitute a rejection of the county boards offer. The county boards offer shall remain open unless increased by the county board under subparagraph (iv) or rejected by the applicant under subparagraph (v).
(i) If the applicant retains an independent appraiser, the easement value shall be the difference between the agricultural value and the nonagricultural value, determined as follows:
(A) The agricultural value shall equal the sum of:
(I) The farmland value determined by the applicants appraiser.
(II) One-half of the difference between the farmland value determined by the county boards appraiser and the farmland value determined by the applicants appraiser, if the farmland value determined by the county boards appraiser exceeds the farmland value determined by the applicants appraiser.
(B) The nonagricultural value shall equal the sum of:
(I) The market value determined by the county boards appraiser.
(II) One-half of the difference between the market value determined by the applicants appraiser and the market value determined by the county boards appraiser, if the market value determined by the applicants appraiser exceeds the market value determined by the county boards appraiser.
(ii) If the easement value determined under subparagraph (i) is less than the easement value determined by the county appraiser, the county board may offer a purchase price equal to the countys offer under subsection (b).
(iii) Regardless of the easement value, the purchase price may not exceed any overall purchase price limits established by the county in its county program.
(iv) Within 30 days of receipt of the applicants appraisal, the county board shall do one of the following:
(A) Submit a written offer to purchase in an amount in excess of the amount offered under subsection (b) to the applicant.
(B) Notify the applicant, in writing, that the offer made under subsection (b) remains open and will not be modified.
(v) The applicant shall, within 15 days of receipt of the county boards written offer under subparagraph (iv)(A) or receipt of the county boards written notice under subparagraph (iv)(B), notify the county board in writing that the applicant does one of the following:
(A) Accepts or rejects the offer made under subparagraph (iv)(A).
(B) Accepts or rejects the offer made under subsection (b).
(vi) The failure of the applicant to act as set forth in subparagraph (v) shall constitute a rejection of the county boards offer.
(vii) If the offer of purchase is accepted, the county board and the applicant shall enter into an agreement of sale containing the same requirements and subject to the same conditions in subsection (c)(1).
(4) The failure by the applicant to act within 30 days of receipt of a written offer under subsection (b) shall constitute rejection of the offer.
(d) An agreement of sale shall be in a form provided by the State Board.
The provisions of this § 138e.66 amended December 26, 1997, effective December 27, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 6782; amended April 30, 2004, effective May 1, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 2421. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (239110) to (239112).
This section cited in 7 Pa. Code § 138e.65 (relating to easement value and purchase price); 7 Pa. Code § 138e.68 (relating to title insurance); and 7 Pa. Code § 138e.104 (relating to installment sales).
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