Vegetative Filter Strip

The Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment Law

The SWCD reminds landowners who have qualifying vegetative filter strips on their land that they may file for a reduced property tax assessment on those acres.

Per a standing Illinois state law, any land that is located between a farm field and an area to be protected, including but not limited to surface water, a stream, a river, or a sinkhole and that meets all requirements shall be considered a “vegetative filter strip’ and valued at 1/6th of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland.

Qualifying vegetative filter strips must follow NRCS specifications for width (based on average slope) and must contain vegetation that has a dense top growth, forms a uniform ground cover, has a heavy fibrous root system, and tolerates field pesticides. 

Landowners who have established filter strips on their land may visit the Stephenson County SWCD office to complete an application form. Landowners should bring the property tax ID numbers for each filter strip area. SWCD staff will determine eligibility of the filter strip(s). Once eligibility has been determined, it is the landowner’s responsibility to file said form with the County Tax Assessor’s office for processing.