On April 27, 2004, Maryland Governor Ehrlich signed two new laws intended to improve the state’s farmland protection program, as recommended by the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation (MALPF)Task Force. Under HB 606, when purchasing an easement MALPF may pay the landowner in installments, up to a maximum term of 15 years. MALPF must also, in consultation with the Treasurer, prepare a plan to purchase easements using installment purchase agreements (IPAs) with a term of 25 years. The plan must identify a revenue source to be dedicated to the purchase of easements using IPAs and must be presented to the governor and the general assembly by November 1, 2004.
The second bill, HB 625, authorizes MALPF to make grants to counties that have county IPA programs meeting certain criteria.