Recognizing that Minnesota’s buffer requirements include an unnecessary cost to rural landowners, District 16B State Representative Paul Torkelson of Hanska will sponsor legislation that provides them with some relief.

“My initiative will relieve the property tax burden on buffers and assist counties that would then be dealing with lost revenue,” Torkelson said.

Under Torkelson’s plan, the property tax relief would be implemented for those who have buffers on their land. Counties would then be reimbursed by the State of Minnesota for the lost property tax revenue.

“We don’t want to shift that tax burden onto other landowners,” Torkelson said. “It’s important to have a mechanism in place that relieves property taxes on lands with buffers.”

Torkelson noted that buffer compliance is very high statewide, as more than 90 percent of landowners have taken the necessary steps to put buffers in place.