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Riparian Buffer Strip Classification Application Deadline

| Thursday, October 15, 2020

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

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.

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
  • 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 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 submitted to the Director of Equalization in the county where the property is located. Eligible applicants will receive tax relief for their 2020 assessment--taxes payable 2021.

Click here to begin your application