Penn State buys Benner Township farmland for $750,000

mdawson@centredaily.comOctober 24, 2013 

Penn State paid $750,000 last month for farmland in Benner Township, county records show.

The almost 120 acres are undeveloped property adjoining land the university already owns along Rock Road in Benner Township.

The property was purchased from Gary Delafield and the estate of Betty H. Delafield, and the deed was recorded Sept. 24.

The College of Agricultural Sciences will use the land to grow crops to feed the college’s animal herds, said spokesman Chuck Gill. The land first will have to be rid of invasive species before it can be useable, he said.

With Penn State’s purchase of the land, the property will come off the tax rolls in 2014. Local governments received more than $4,300 from the property in tax revenues in 2013.

The property generated $3,497.17 in revenues for the State College Area School District, according to 2013 tax figures. The land is in the section of Benner Township that pays taxes to State College Area.

Centre County received $707.56 and Benner Township got $170.57, according to county tax figures.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said that the purchase agreement does not have a provision for the university to pay any in-lieu-of-tax contributions, as it does with other properties in other municipalities.

The land purchase does not require approval of the university’s board of trustees. The transaction will be provided to the board at its November meeting as an information item.

Penn State owns about 10,300 acres in Centre County.

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