Minnesota Buffer Tax Credit
The Minnesota House approved their tax bill. The Senate Taxes Committee approved their tax bill and will be considered by the full Senate very soon. I am sure there are a lot of details that need to be worked out yet between the House, Senate and Governor Walz. While there is a "fix" in the Minnesota Tax code to get Minnesota's Section 179 in line with the Federal Tax code a buffer property tax credit is not in the tax bills.
The Minnesota Buffer Law requires farmers and land owners plant a buffer strip along public waterways. So, the State of Minnesota told farmers that they cannot plant corn or soybeans along waterways. They have to plant a buffer strip of approved grasses and other cover crops. Farmers response was okay, if this land cannot produce 200 bushel corn or 60 bushel beans, why am I paying property taxes as if it is?
I argued right from the start of the Buffer Law that it would not have been nearly as controversial if there would have been funds available to "buy down" farmers property taxes on the buffer strips. Yes, here is the problem, who would pay for it or where would the funds come from? How about Minnesota's Clean Water Legacy Fund? Isn't this exactly what the program is for? I suspect all the funds are already spent or allocated.