Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Governor intends to offer the buffer-strip tax break

The governor will ask the Legislature next year to grant tax breaks to landowners who maintain grassy buffer strips along waterways to reduce agricultural runoff, a state government tax official said Monday. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, had vetoed the same concept at the end of the 2016 session. The original measure came from Sen. Jim Peterson, D-Revillo. His supporters in the House of Representatives couldn’t muster the two-thirds majority needed to override the March veto. Peterson’s legislation called for tax breaks on buffer strips up to 50 feet wide. Daugaard’s legislation would offer tax breaks on wider strips up to 120 feet. The announcement of Daugaard’s formal intent came during a meeting Monday of the Legislature’s task force on agricultural land assessment implementation and oversight. Peterson is chairman for the task force this year and is retiring from the Legislature for a second time. Peterson wanted less dirt, chemicals and manure flowing from farm fields and livestock pastures into the Big Sioux River and other waterways throughout South Dakota. He praised Daugaard on Monday for taking up the cause. “I think the governor’s version is a better version than the one I wrote,” Peterson told the task force...more

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