Natural Resources Committee – Week 6, 2021


SF 352 – Forest and Fruit Tree reserve property tax exemption

SF 352 makes a number of changes to the Forest and Fruit Tree Property Tax Exemption. The bill would:

  • Reduce the value of the property tax exemption from a full 100% of the actual value of the parcel to just 75% of the value.
  • Change the size of forest reserve property that is eligible for the exemption. The bill would require a forest reserve to be larger than 10 acres. The current size requirements are for properties larger than one acre and up to ten acres.
  • Keeps the size requirements for fruit tree reserves. However, the bill removes one acre of the fruit tree reserve from the value exempted if there are buildings on the reserve.
  • Limit the length of the forest reserve property tax exemption to five years.
  • Require the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to inspect property applying for a forest reserve exemption by to ensure that it meets requirements for the exemption.
  • Require a forest reserve property owner to enter into a deer depredation agreement if the DNR determines the property meets the criteria under that program.
    [2/11: 8-3 (No: Boulton, Celsi, Trone-Garriott; Absent: Hogg, Lykam)]

SF 353 – Drainage district projects: Repairs or improvements

SF 353 establishes a cost threshold for when an engineer’s report must be filed by the board. The new threshold will be the greater of $50,000 or the adjusted competitive bidding threshold, which is currently $139,000 for vertical infrastructure. Under current law, an engineer’s report is necessary when a project’s cost exceeds the threshold for requiring a public hearing, which is $50,000.
[2/11: 10-1 (No: Celsi; Absent: Hogg, Lykam)]