This week, Queen Anne’s County Commissioners dedicated more resources to agriculture land preservation by enacting a “County Farmland Preservation Fund.”
The fund will receive the first $1 million from the county’s personal property tax revenue drawn from large-scale solar developments. The fund will aid in the preservation of prime farmland through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) program, which typically receives funds from the agriculture transfer tax. Using state and county funds, Queen Anne’s was able to preserve over 1,500 acres of farmland in 2019. With thousands of acres waiting to be preserved in the county, the Commissioners took a step towards preserving even more land by dedicating at least $1 million annually to proven preservation efforts.
“We have some of the best land on the entire eastern sea board for farming … why not put it [personal property tax revenue on solar panels] toward our farms” said Commissioner Jim Moran, the author of the bill during the March public hearing. The bill passed with four votes in the affirmative June 9 and will take effect July 25.
For more information on farmland preservation in Maryland, visit MALPF’s website.