The invoice for the Forest and Orchard Reserve was about to be scrapped

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The bill for the Forest and Orchard Reserve was about to be scrapped

If Iowa law changes the Forest and Fruit Trees Reservation Act, we will wake up on January 1st with new rules for our forest reservations. The new minimum acreage would increase from two acres to 10 acres. The property tax exemption would decrease from 100 percent to 75 percent of the actual value of the reserve land.

The bill, Senate Act 112, was approved by the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. It is now on its way to the full Senate. SF 112 would change a longstanding 100 percent exemption for Iowa’s forest and orchard reserves.

SF 112 is little known outside of the Capitol. In a recent ZOOM appeal, there was no representation of landowners in southeast Iowa, where residents oppose poor management and violations of current forest reserve rules. SF 112 is certainly not a bill that would solve a problem.

There were no public announcements or announcements of SF 112 to forest reserve owners. My family and neighbors in northeast Iowa are unaware of the new tax and land restrictions that would result. Forest reserves, in all of their beauty, visual, recreational and environmental values, are a gift to the citizens of Iowa. If you are interested in receiving it, I urge you to share your views with your senators and officials at this critical time. Since SF 112 has no value, it should be abandoned.

Edward R. Gross

Forest reserve owners and tree builders

North Fayette County

Edward R. Gross

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