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S.F. No. 1414 - Sustainable Forest Incentive Act Amendments (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator John Marty
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Eric S. Silvia, Senate Counsel (651/296-1771)
Date: March 23, 2015


Section 1 [SFIA Purpose] add to purposes of the Sustainable Forest Incentive Act (SFIA) to emphasize economic and ecological benefits.

Section 2 [Technical] extends the applicability of the definitions to include all of the sections in the SFIA chapter.

Section 3 [Claimant definition] modifies the definition of “claimant” to specify that the new owner of transferred SFIA enrolled land has the responsibility to notify the DNR of the transfer.

Section 4 [Forest land] removes the prohibition of land exceeding 60,000 acres that is subject to a single conservation from participation in the program.

Section 5 [SFIA eligibility] requires forest management plan registration with DNR to be eligible for the SFIA, and requiring claimants enrolling land subject to a conservation easement funded by the outdoor heritage fund or comparable permanent easement to allow year-round, nonmotorized access.

Section 6 [Annual certification] provides that the claimant under the SFIA is the current property owner and that the current owner must report each year on management practices carried out.

Section 7 [Length of covenant] provides for different covenants with durations of eight, 20, or 50 years.

Section 8 [Rural vacant land] changes the calcuation of statewide average estimated market value per acre from class 2c managed forest to class 2b rural vacant land.

Section 9 [Calculation of incentive payment] provides that the annual payment for land enrolled in the program shall be equal to a percentage of the property tax that would be paid on the land determined by using the previous years statewide average total tax for all taxes levied within townships or unorganized territories, the estimated market value per acre and a class rate of one percent. 

Section 10 [Annual incentive payment; appropriation] provides that the DNR will certify the annual payment for each claimant to the DOR.  Money for the payments is appropriated to the DOR.

Section 11 [Withdrawal procedures] provides withdrawal procedures for the eight, 20, or 50 year conventants and other specified early withdrawals eligiblity.

Section 12 [Transfer of ownership] provides for the transfer of ownership for lands enrolled in the SFIA. This section requires notice to the new owner of lands enrolled in the SFIA; and notification to the DNR of the transfer of title to enrolled lands.  If the new owner does not submit a new forest management plan within two years of the transfer, the DNR will terminate enrollment in the SFIA.

Section 13 [Penalties for removal] clarifies that the penalties apply to the current owner of enrolled land and bases the penalty amounts on the value of the land.  If the land is removed due to construction of a building, the penalty is 25 percent of the market value of the property with the structure and certain payment amounts based on the length of the convenant.  If the land is removed due to changes in the use of the land, the penalty is 30 percent of the market value of the property based on the new use and certain payment amounts based on the length of the convenant. The current law penalty is equal to the previous four years of SFIA payments, plus interest.

Section 14 [Repealer] repeals definitions and provisions related to calculating the current use value and estimated market value that are not used anymore in calculating the SFIA payments.  

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