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Knox County Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District

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Reduced Property Tax Assessments Under The State of IL Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment Law

Public Act 89-606

Bear Creek in Story County, Iowa
The buffer is a nationally designated demonstration area for riparian buffers.

Through the efforts of soil and water conservation districts, legislation was approved and signed into law effective on January 1, 1997, which provides for tax incentives for the development of vegetative filter strips. Vegetative filter strips are a proven conservation practice which can aid in reducing soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide significant habitat for grassland wildlife. Soil and water conservation districts play a primary role in working with local landowners to access this tax incentive.
The Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment Law provides for a reduction in the assessed value of cropland certified as meeting the requirements of the law to 1/6 of its value.
SWCD's can help interested landowners access this incentive program by:
  • Providing program information to landowners regarding the availability of this state tax incentive for development of vegetative filter strips;
  • Working directly with land owners regarding their applications for vegetative filter strip certification; and
  • Providing technical assistance to interested parties;


The vegetative filter strip legislation sets the following criteria for land eligible to be certified as a vegetative filter strip. These criteria include:

  • Any cropland surrounding a surface or ground water conduit is eligible (lakes, streams, rivers, ponds).
  • The minimum and maximum width of the vegetative filter strip width eligible for the assessment reduction is determined by the slope of the land on which the vegetative strip is located.
  • The vegetative filter strip must be part of a conservation plan and must provide for a uniform ground cover; have a heavy fibrous root system; and tolerate pesticides used in farm fields.


Landowners who wish to participate in this conservation program should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District for application forms and further information. A site visit will then be scheduled to determine qualification.

Knox County SWCD
233 S. Soangetaha Rd.
Galesburg, IL  61401
Phone: (309) 342-5138  ext 3
Fax: (855) 288-1480

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8- 4:30 p.m.

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