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Riparian Buffer Strip Classification Application

Completed form must be filed with Director of Equalization on or before October 15, 2020 for consideration for the 2021 assessment - taxes payable 2022. Per SDCL 10-6-31.7, landowners may receive a reduction in property value of 40 percent of any eligible riparian buffer strip. The law specifies 575 lake listings and 11,000 miles of streams that are eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Land must meet the criteria for agricultural classification for purposes of taxation.
  • Only land that is adjoining qualified lakes and streams is eligible to be enrolled in the program. Maps of all qualified lakes and streams for every county can be accessed at:
  • Effective July 1, 2018, a Board of County Commissioners, by resolution, may add qualifying lands not included in the link above.
  • The land must consist of existing or planted perennial vegetation.
  • The buffer strip has to be a minimum of 50 feet wide and can be a maximum of 120 feet wide. The measurement starts at the top of the bank or where the vegetation starts, whichever is closer to the water.
  • The vegetation cannot be harvested or mowed before July 10. A minimum of 4 inches of vegetation must be maintained at all times.
  • The land cannot be grazed during the months of May through September.
The landowner must apply annually on or before October 15 verifying that the above criteria have been met
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