In 1993, the Pennsylvania General Assembly saw that conservation, parks, and recreation needs were pressing and would continue to grow. In response, the Senate (48-0) and House (196-3) voted to create a permanent fund that would expand as the real estate market grew. With conservation and recreation needs and costs having risen drastically in recent years, the wisdom of those legislators is evident.
As established by Act 50 of 1993, the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund is funded through a dedicated portion of the Realty Transfer Tax, which is a joint tax paid by both the seller and buyer as a result of a real estate transaction. The seller and the buyer are each required to pay 1% of the total purchase price, for a total of 2%. Half of this (or 1%) is allocated to state government and the other 1% is divided equally between the local municipality and the local school district.
Fifteen percent (15%) of the state’s share of revenue from this tax is then placed into the Keystone Fund to be allocated to projects as established by law.
Since the Keystone Fund relies solely on the Realty Transfer Tax, changes in the volume of real estate transactions and real estate values directly impact the amount of revenue dedicated to the Keystone Fund each year.