Buffer

The buffer law first passed in 2015, but its general requirement of 50-foot buffer strips along lakes, rivers and streams went into effect late last year despite urging from some Republicans to delay.

South Dakota landowners with riparian buffer strips can apply for the state's property tax incentive, but applications must be submitted by Oct. 15.

The 2017 law allows for riparian buffer strips to be assessed at 60% of the land’s agricultural income value. Only land within 120 feet of a listed lake, river or stream may be classified as a riparian buffer strip, and grazing is prohibited from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Applicants may view a web map to help determine which waters qualify under the program at denr.sd.gov/datagis.aspx.

Applications must be submitted to the director of equalization in the county where the property is located. Eligible applicants will receive tax relief for their 2021 assessment for taxes payable in 2022.

To learn more about the property tax incentive or access the application, visit https://dor.sd.gov/individuals/taxes/property-tax/#buffer.