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North Dakota Century Code Title 57. Taxation § 57-02-08.4. Conditional property tax exemption for owners of wetlands

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Wetlands qualifying under this section are exempt from taxation.  To qualify for the tax exemption, the owner of wetlands must annually file with the county director of tax equalization, on a form prescribed by the state tax commissioner, a legal description of the wetlands for which an exemption is claimed and an agreement to not drain, fill, pump, or concentrate water in a smaller and deeper excavation in the wetland basin or alter the physical nature of the wetland in any manner that reduces the wetland's ability to function as a natural system during the year for which the exemption is claimed.  To qualify for the exemption the agreement must be filed by June thirtieth of the year for which the exemption is claimed.  The exemption is not available for years prior to filing of the agreement or for any year in which the terms of the agreement are violated.  The county director of tax equalization shall certify to the county auditor, for each landowner receiving the exemption, the landowner's name, the amount of tax which would have been due on the exempt acreage for the most recent past tax year, and that the landowner has filed the required agreement.  The amount of the wetlands exemption must be reflected upon the property tax statement of each eligible taxpayer.

For purposes of this section, “wetlands” means all types 3, 4, and 5 wetlands, as determined by the agriculture commissioner and the director of the game and fish department, in accordance with United States fish and wildlife service circular no. 39 (1971 edition), drainage of which would be feasible and practical.

When wetlands are drained or altered so the land no longer qualifies for the exemption provided by this section, the land is subject to additional taxes which would have been assessed if the property had not qualified for the exemption provided by this section.  The taxes which would have been due on the land without the exemption for the ten years preceding the year in which the exemption is terminated must be computed, and the property owner shall pay the difference between this amount and the taxes which were actually paid on the property in addition to taxes currently due.  Absence of water on property qualifying for the exemption under this section, caused by drought conditions, does not disqualify the property from the exemption under this section.

The wetlands tax exemption provided by this section does not grant the public any additional or greater right of access to the wetlands or diminish any right of ownership to the wetlands.  The owner of property exempt under this section may use the property in any manner which does not violate the agreement filed with the county director of tax equalization.

No property is exempt under this section unless the tax commissioner has certified to the county auditor of each county by December tenth of the taxable year that funds are available in the state treasury which may be used for payment in full of any state obligations under section 57-02-08.5.

Cite this article: - North Dakota Century Code Title 57. Taxation § 57-02-08.4. Conditional property tax exemption for owners of wetlands - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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