10-6-117. Agricultural land--Riparian buffer strip classification--Criteria--Duration.

Agricultural land shall be classified as a riparian buffer strip pursuant to § 10-6-116, if it meets the following criteria:

(1)    The agricultural land consists of existing or planted perennial vegetation;

(2)    The riparian buffer strip is a minimum of fifty feet in width along an eligible river, stream, or lake, and extends up to a maximum of one hundred twenty feet in width along an eligible river, stream, or lake. For the purposes of this section, the measurement along a river or stream begins at the top of the bank or where the upland or terrestrial vegetation begins, whichever is closer to the water channel, and extends landward from the beginning measuring point. The measurement along a lake begins where upland or terrestrial vegetation begins and extends landward from the beginning measuring point. A riparian buffer strip may vary along the riparian area if the strip is at least fifty to one hundred twenty feet in width and is mapped to calculate the taxable area involved;

(3)    The perennial vegetation is not harvested or mowed before July tenth unless the riparian buffer strip is impacted by center pivot irrigation, then the perennial vegetation may not be harvested or mowed before June twenty-fifth. However, a minimum of four inches of vegetative cover shall be maintained at all times;

(4)    The perennial vegetation is not grazed during the months of May to September, inclusive; and

(5)    The landowner files a verified application with the director of equalization of the county where the agricultural property is located, verifying that the criteria of this section has been met.

The landowner shall include in the application a legal description of the parcel where the riparian buffer strip is located, all necessary documentation including maps and acre totals, and any other information required by the director to determine eligibility. The application must be filed with the director before October sixteenth. If the director determines that the agricultural land meets the criteria provided by this section, the land must be assessed pursuant to § 10-6-116 on November first, and shall continue to be classified as a riparian buffer strip for a period of ten years unless there is a change in use or if any of the criteria required under this section are not met. Following each ten-year period, an application to maintain classification as a riparian buffer strip shall be filed with the director before October sixteenth. The application must be in a form as prescribed by the secretary of revenue.

Source: SL 2017, ch 63, § 2; SL 2021, ch 44, §§ 14, 44; SL 2021, ch 46, § 2.