South Dakota Buffer Strip

South Dakota property owners with eligible riparian buffer strips have until October 15 to apply for a property tax incentive.

As a result of 2017’s Senate Bill 66, landowners may receive a reduction in property value of 40 percent of any eligible riparian buffer strip. The bill specifies 575 lake listings and 11,000 miles of streams that are eligible.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Only land that adjoins qualified lakes and streams is eligible to be enrolled in the program. Maps of all qualified lakes and streams for every county may be accessed at
  • 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 closest 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 may not be grazed from May through September.

Applications are to be submitted to the Director of Equalization in the county where the property is located. Eligible applicants will receive tax relief for their 2018 assessment--taxes payable 2019.

Click here to complete the application

Click here to find your Director of Equalization's contact information


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