The Pennsylvania General Assembly, in 1993, saw that conservation, parks and recreation needs were pressing and would continue to grow. Hence, the Senate voted 48-0 and the House, 196-3, to create a permanent fund that would grow as the real estate market grew. With conservation and recreation needs and costs having now grown many-fold, 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.
“The Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails is a tremendous asset to the Greater Hazleton Area community and areas outside of the immediate Hazleton Area. What was once an abandoned old rail bed for half a century, used for illegal dumping and other activities, is now a hub of activity."