Senate Study Bill 1123 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1establishing a partial property tax exemption for
2certain agricultural land planted with cover crops,
3providing penalties, and including applicability provisions.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  NEW SECTION.  427D.1  Cover crop property tax
2exemption — definitions.
   31.  The owner of agricultural land, as defined in section
49H.1, that is planted with cover crops shall be entitled to a
5property tax exemption as provided in this chapter.
   62.  a.  “Cover crop” means the same as a cover crop under
7section 161A.73 that would be eligible for financial incentives
8as a soil erosion control management practice.
   9b.  “Department” means the department of agriculture and land
10stewardship.
11   Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  427D.2  Eligibility and application.
   121.  Fifty percent of the assessed value of that portion
13of the owner’s agricultural land planted with cover crops
14during the growing season of the assessment year for which the
15exemption is claimed shall be exempt from taxation.
   162.  If agricultural land for which an application is filed
17meets the requirements of this chapter, it shall receive the
18exemption under this chapter if the application is made or
19on file with the department on or before February 1 of the
20exemption year. The exemption shall be only for the assessment
21year for which it is granted. Property may be granted
22subsequent exemptions.
   233.  To apply for the exemption, the applicant shall deliver
24to the department a verified statement and designation of
25the tracts of agricultural land for which the exemption is
26claimed on forms prescribed by the department. If approved,
27the department shall return the statement and designation on or
28before November 15 of each year to the appropriate assessor.
29The department may inspect the property for compliance with
30the requirements of this chapter. If the land fails to meet
31the established standards for the exemption, the owner and the
32appropriate assessor shall be given written notice of such
33determination.
34   Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  427D.3  False claim — penalty.
   35If a person makes a false claim or affidavit with fraudulent
-1-1intent to obtain the exemption under this chapter, the claim
2shall be disallowed in full. If the exemption has been
3provided, the amount of the exempted taxes plus interest,
4at the rate in effect under section 421.7, from the time of
5payment shall be collected by the county treasurer in the same
6manner as other property taxes, penalty, and interest are
7collected. If a claim is disallowed under this section, the
8person shall not be eligible to claim an exemption under this
9chapter for the succeeding five assessment years.
10   Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  427D.4  Rules.
   11The department, in consultation with the department of
12revenue, shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A for the
13interpretation and proper administration of the exemption
14provided in this chapter.
15   Sec. 5.  IMPLEMENTATION.  Section 25B.7 shall not apply to
16this Act.
17   Sec. 6.  APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to assessment years
18beginning on or after January 1, 2020.
19EXPLANATION
20The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
21the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   22This bill establishes a property tax exemption for
23agricultural land that is planted with cover crops, as defined
24in the bill. Fifty percent of the assessed value of the
25eligible land planted with cover crops during the growing
26season of the assessment year shall be exempt from taxation.
   27To apply for the exemption, the applicant is required to
28deliver to the department of agriculture and land stewardship
29(the department) a verified statement and designation of the
30tracts of agricultural land for which the exemption is claimed
31on forms prescribed by the department. The bill authorizes
32the department to inspect the land for compliance with the
33requirements for the exemption.
   34Under the bill, if a person makes a false claim or affidavit
35with fraudulent intent to obtain the exemption, the claim
-2-1shall be disallowed in full and if the exemption has been
2provided, the amount of the exempted taxes plus interest shall
3be collected by the county treasurer. In addition, the person
4is not be eligible to claim the exemption for the succeeding
5five assessment years.
   6The bill requires the department to, in consultation with
7the department of revenue, adopt rules for the interpretation
8and proper administration of the exemption provided in the
9bill.
   10The bill makes inapplicable Code section 25B.7. Code
11section 25B.7 provides that for a property tax credit or
12exemption enacted on or after January 1, 1997, if a state
13appropriation made to fund the credit or exemption is not
14sufficient to fully fund the credit or exemption, the political
15subdivision shall be required to extend to the taxpayer only
16that portion of the credit or exemption estimated by the
17department of revenue to be funded by the state appropriation.
   18The bill applies to assessment years beginning on or after
19January 1, 2020.
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