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field in autumn colors NRCS
BUFFER STRIP: A buffer strip of grass protects a waterway.

Buffer strip tax relief deadline coming up

Oct. 15 is the deadline to apply for reclassification of buffer strips along qualified lakes, rivers and streams in South Dakota.

Oct. 15 is the deadline to apply for South Dakota’s new buffer strip tax relief program.

The program offers a tax cut on land enrolled in the buffer program, says David Kringen, South Dakota State University Extension water resources field specialist.

Eligible land has to be next to qualified lakes, rivers or streams. Existing or newly planted land is eligible. The land will be assessed at 60% of its agricultural income value.

Applications for the Riparian Buffer Strip Classification Program are to be submitted to the director of equalization in the county where the property is located, and must be must be filed with the director on or before Oct. 15 for consideration for the 2018 assessment.

In order to qualify for the tax reassessment each year, landowners must apply annually on or before Oct. 15 to verify that the program criteria have been met.

The vegetative buffer must be a minimum of 50 feet in width up to a maximum of 120 feet. Enrolled vegetative acres cannot be harvested or mowed before July 10. A 4-inch minimum height must be maintained at all times.

Grazing is prohibited from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Maps of all the qualified lakes and streams, the application form and director contact information for each county can be found at

For more information and other program details, visit the South Dakota Buffer Strip website.

Source: SDSU Extension Service

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