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  Natural Resources Management Incentives   


Prepared with help from the following organizations:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Farm Service Agency
Illinois Department of Revenue

Table of Contents

Summary of Natural Resources Management Incentives

COST SHARE PROGRAMS
Agricultural Loan Program
Conservation Practices Cost-Share Program
Conservation Reserve Program
Ecosystems Program
Emergency Watershed Protection Program
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Federal and Illinois Clean Lakes Program
Forest Stewardship
Illinois Forestry Development Act Program
Illinois Water Well Abandonment Program
Lake Education Assistance Program
Nonpoint Source Management Program
Partners for Wildlife
Streambank Stabilization and Restoration Program
Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
Trees, Shrubs and Seedlings at No Cost
Wetland Reserve Program

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Emergency Conservation Program

Forest Management Assistance Program
Inland Lake Management Technical Assistance
Natural Heritage Landmarks
Private Land Wildlife Habitat Program
Private Waters Program
Register of Land and Water Reserves
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Programs
Soil and Water Conservation

PROPERTY TAX INCENTIVES
Assessment of Property Encumbered by Easements
Conservation Easements and Other Rights
Exemption of Illinois Prairie Path Corporation Leases
Exemption of Property Leased to a Park District
Forest Legacy Program
Forestry Management Plan
Illinois Nature Preserve
Open Space Assessment

Non-Clear Cut Assessment
Preferential Assessment of Farmland
Preferential Assessment of Common Areas
Tax Bills Optional for Equalized Assessed Valuation Less Than $150
Tax Certification Program for Livestock Waste Management Facilities
Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment

Summary of Natural Resources Management Incentives

Program
Government
Contact *
Eligibility**
Term
Minimum Acres
--------------- Purpose --------------
 
 
 
Natural areas, habitat
Open Space, recreation
Forestry
Wetland, water res.
Soil conservation
Farmland preservation
Cost Share Programs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Agricultural Loan Program
State Treasurer
Ind/Corp.
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Conservation Practices Cost-Share
SWCD, IDOA
Ind/Corp/Pub
10 yrs.
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
Conservation Reserve Program
FSA
Ind/Corp.
10-15 yrs.
 
 
 
X
 
X
 
Ecosystems Program
IDNR
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
X
X
 
X
 
 
Emergency Watershed Protection
NRCS
Ind/Corp/Pub
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Environmental Quality Incentives
NRCS
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
5-10 yrs.
 
 
 
 
X
X
 
Federal & Illinois Clean Lakes
IEPA
Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Forest Stewardship
IDNR
Ind
 

5 acres

 
 
X
 
 
 
Forestry Development
IDNR
Inf/Pub
 

5 acres

 
 
X
 
 
 
Water Well Abandonment
SWCD, IDOA
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Lake Education Assistance
IEPA
Pub/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Nonpoint Source Management
IEPA
Pub/Corp/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Partners for Wildlife
USFWS, IDNR
Ind
10 yrs
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
Streambank Stabilization & Restoration
IDOA
Ind/WPG
10 yrs
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Sustainable Agriculture Grants
IDOA
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
X
Trees, Shrubs, & Seedlings
IDNR
Ind
 
 
 
 
X
 
X
 
Wetland Reserve Program
NRCS
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Technical Assistance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emergency Conservation
FSA
Ind
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
Forest Management Assistance
IDNR
Ind/Corp/Pub
 
 
X
 
X
X
X
 
Inland Lake Management
IEPA
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Natural Heritage Landmarks
IDNR
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
Private Land Wildlife Habitat
IDNR
Ind
 

.25-1 acre

X
 
 
 
 
 
Private Waters Program
IDNR
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
Register of Land & Water Reserves
IDNR
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance
NPS
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
Soil & Water Conservation
SWCD, IDOA
Ind/Corp/Pub/WPG
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
Property Tax Incentives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Assessment of Property Encumbered by Easements
County Assessor
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
Conservation Easements & Other Rights
IDNR
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
Exemption for Illinois Prairie Path Corp. Leases
Co. Bd. of Review
Ind
 
 
X
X
 
 
 
 
Exemption for Property Leased to a Park District
Co. Bd. of Review
Ind
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
Forest Legacy Program
IDNR
Ind
perm.
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
Forestry Management Plan
IDNR
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
Illinois Nature Preserves
IDNR
Ind/Pub
perm.
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
Non-Clear Cut Assessment
County Assessor
Ind
 
 
X
 
 
X
 
 
Open Space Assessment
County Assessor
Ind
 

10 acres

X
X
X
X
X
 
Preferential Assessment of Farmland
County Assessor
Ind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Preferential Assessment of Common Areas
County Assessor
Ind
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
Tax Bills Optional for Valuation Less than $150
County Clerk
Ind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tax Certification for Livestock Waste Management
IEPA
Ind/Corp
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
Vegetative Filter Strip
SWCD, IDOA, IDR
Ind
 
 
 
 
 
X
X
 

 

Abbreviations

* Government Contacts

  ** Eligibility
IEPA Illinois Environmental Protection Agency   Ind Individual
IDNR Illinois Department of Natural Resources   Corp Corporation
IDOA Illinois Department of Agriculture   Pub Public Entity
IDR Illinois Department of Revenue   WPG Watershed Planning Group
FSA Farm Service Agency      
NPS National Park Service      
NRCS Natural Resources Conservation Service      
SWCD Soil and Water Conservation District      
USFWS

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

     


COST SHARE PROGRAMS



Agricultural Loan Program

Contact
Office of State Treasurer
Agricultural Loan Program
300 West Jefferson
Springfield, Illinois 62702
Phone: (217) 782-2072
Fax: (217) 522-1217

Objective
To provide low-interest loans to Illinois farmers who may need assistance with operating expenses or wish to make improvements to their farming techniques to increase productivity or conserve soil and water resources.

Incentive
Loans are available to farmers statewide through over 1,000 financial institutions. Agricultural Loan Program funds may be used for the following expenditures: seed, fertilizer, chemicals, cash rent, crop insurance, purchase of livestock, purchase of feed, production related energy and labor expenses, soil and water conservation practices and new and used farm equipment, including conservation implements.

Agricultural Loan Program rates are established daily by the Treasurer's Office, for collateralized time deposit loans. Agricultural lenders may charge borrowers up to 4 percent more than the interest set for the time deposit funds provided by the Treasurer's Office.

Lending institutions obtaining state deposits at the reduced agricultural rate shall limit the amount lent to any single borrower to 50 percent of the borrower's operating capitol. This lending cap does not apply to the purchase of livestock not held for resale or for the purchase of used or new farm equipment.

Requirements
The program is available to all Illinois farmers. Application must be made through a financial institution participating in the Agricultural Loan Program. Loans for the purchase of new or used equipment; may only be for equipment made by companies based in the U.S.

Statistics
The Agricultural Loan Program has $450 million available.


Conservation Practices Cost-Share Program
Conservation 2000

Conservation 2000 (Public Act 89-49)
Administrative Code 30ILCS 105/5.401; 105/5.402; 105/6Z-28; 105/8.25g

Contact
County Soil and Water Conservation District Office
or
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources
State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993

Objective
Provide cost-share assistance for conservation practices that conserve soil and protect other natural resources.

Incentive
Eligible landowners may receive up to 60% cost-share on the construction of eligible soil and water conservation practices. County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) administer the program locally. SWCDs establish cost-share rates, eligible conservation practices and maximum cost-share payments. Cost-share payments are based on locally established average costs for similar conservation practices.

Requirements
Landowners must have sheet and rill erosion or ephemeral/gully erosion on the cropland upon which the eligible conservation practice will be installed. Applicants must be SWCD Cooperators and have a conservation plan documenting needed conservation practices. Staff members of the local SWCD office will provide technical assistance. Project applicants will be prioritized and selected based on acres benefited and soil saved per dollar cost. Cost-share recipients must agree to retain and maintain cost-shared conservation practices for a period of 10 years.

Statistics
In FY 2001 and 2002 the annual funding level has been $5,250,000.


Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

The Food Security Act of 1986, as amended/Adm. Code - USDA, FSA, Operational Handbook, 2-CRP (Rev. 3)

Contact
Farm Service Agency (FSA) State office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19273
Springfield, IL 62794-9273
Phone: (217) 241-6600
TDD: 1(800) 526-0844, the Illinois Relay Center

Technical assistance provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service

Objective
Reduce soil erosion and reduce commodity production on fragile lands.

Incentive
Continuous sign-up began September 4, 1996 at local FSA offices; there is no longer a competitive bidding process. Acreage will be eligible for automatic acceptance into the program provided the acreage and producer meet certain eligibility requirements at a per acre rental rate not to exceed the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) maximum payment amount. Maximum payment rates, which are based on site-specific soil productivity and local prevailing cash equivalent rental rates, will be posted in local FSA offices. Contracts shall not be less than 10 nor more than 15 years in duration.

In addition to the annual payments, CCC will provide up to 50% of the cost of establishing a permanent cover.

Requirements
Eligible land includes cropland that has been planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity during any two crop years between 1997 through 2001. Eligible land includes highly erodible land and land that is suitable for the following practices: filter strips, riparian buffers, shelter belts, grass waterways, field windbreaks and living snow fences.


Ecosystems Program
Conservation 2000

Conservation 2000, Public Act 89-49

Contact
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Office of Realty and Environmental Planning
Ecosystems Division
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-7940
Fax: (217) 775-0727
E-mail:
www.dnr.state.il.us/orep/c2000

Objective
To monitor, maintain, enhance, and restore the biodiversity and ecology of Illinois' landscapes through local partnerships.

Incentive
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources provides scientific, technical, administrative, and financial support to designated Ecosystem Partnerships for the protection, promotion, and enhancement of the biodiversity and natural resources of ecosystems.

Requirements
Individuals and organizations that are cooperating to improve the natural resource base of where they live, work and play while promoting compatible sustainable economic activity can apply for designation as an Ecosystem Partnership. They must identify natural resource protection and enhancement as their primary goal, include all major stakeholders in the watershed(s), and support the goals of the Department's Ecosystems Program.

Coalitions may request Ecosystem Partnership designation by writing to the Director of the Department. Requests should include partnership area boundaries, partnership mission statement, a list of members with their affiliation, and a description of the proposed Ecosystem Partnership's natural resource condition or natural resource significance.

Once designated, partnerships can apply for a Vision Plan grant and a Support grant. They are also eligible to apply for competitive Ecosystem Project grants. Project grants are funded in six categories: habitat protection, land acquisition and easement, planning, outreach and education, research, and resource economics.

Statistics
38 Ecosystem Partnerships covering 80% of the state.
610 projects have been funded with $23.6 million in C2000 Ecosystem Project grants.


Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)

Section 21b, Public Law 81-516; Section 403, Title IV, Agricultural Credit Act of 1978, Public Law 95-334 as amended

Contact
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) county office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1902 Fox Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 398-5267

Objective
Assist in relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods and other natural disasters such as fires, windstorms, earthquakes, tornadoes, and drought.

Incentive
Federal cost-share up to 75% of construction costs to restore and re-establish the watershed, for example, sediment and debris removal, stream blockage clearing, repair damaged levees on small streams, streambank stabilization for protection of public facilities, roads, highways, bridges and homes. The remaining 25% must be paid by the community and/or project sponsors.

EWP also provides technical assistance.

Requirements
Project sponsors must be a legal subdivision of a state government or a state itself, or a local unit of government or other qualified organization. Public or private landowners, land managers, and land users are all eligible to receive EWP assistance. Those who are eligible must have a legal interest or responsibility for the property threatened by a watershed emergency, and have exhausted or have insufficient funds and resources to provide needed relief.


Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Contact
USDA Local Service Centers
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1902 Fox Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 398-5267

Objective
Streamline and improve conservation services by providing a single, voluntary conservation program for farmers and ranchers who face serious threats to soil, water and related natural resources. Half of the assistance is targeted to livestock-related natural resource problems and the other half to more general conservation priorities.

Incentives
EQIP offers 5 to 10 year contracts that provide incentive payments and cost sharing for needed conservation practices. Cost sharing may pay up to 75% of the costs of conservation practices such as grassed waterways, filter strips, manure management facilities, and other practices important to improving and maintaining the natural resources in the area. Also provides technical and educational assistance.

Requirements
Land must be in a priority area as determined by the NRCS where there are significant problems with natural resources. High priority is given to areas where state or local governments can share in the cost of projects and where agricultural improvements will help meet water quality and other environmental objectives. All EQIP activities must be carried out according to a conservation plan.


Federal and Illinois Clean Lakes Program (FCLP, ICLP)

Federal: Section 314 of the Federal Water Quality Act of 1987.
Illinois: Illinois Lake Management Program Act [525 ILCS 25]; Section 6z-31 of the State Finance Act [30 ILCS 105/6z-31]; and Conservation 2000 [Public Act 89-49].

Contact
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Division of Water Pollution Control
Surface Water Section, Lake Unit
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Phone: (217) 782-3362
TDD: (217) 782-9143

Objective
To identify and control sources of pollution which affect the quality of inland lakes, and to protect and restore lakes which have or are indicating deteriorated quality and public use.

Incentive
Both the FCLP and ICLP provide two types of incentive grants to lake owners. "Phase I Diagnostic-Feasibility Study" grants are awarded to identify causes and sources of pollution, and to develop and recommend feasible courses of action to correct problems. Activities eligible for reimbursement include lake sample collection, sample analyses, equipment purchases, information gathering, and report development. Up to 60 percent of the study cost is supported by federal/state funds.

"Phase II Implementation" grants are awarded to implement the courses of action as recommended in the Phase I study report. Included as eligible for reimbursement are shoreline stabilization, aquatic plant management, certain forms of algae control, fisheries rehabilitation, sedimentation basins, aeration/destratification, and watershed best management practices. Up to 50 percent of implementation costs are supported by federal/state funds.

Phase II projects require that the equivalent of a Phase I study report must have already been completed..

Requirements
Lake owners and/or management entities must have legal authority over the lake; have the ability to enter into contracts with local, state, and/or federal organizations and pay the local share of project costs; and have the ability to adopt and enforce official controls. Publicly-owned and accessible lakes are heavily prioritized over private lakes. Pre-applications due August 31; final applications due October 31 each year.

Statistics
ICLP - Approximately $7.0 million available from FY ‘01 through FY ‘07
          - $0.875 million in FY ‘01; $0.875 million in FY ‘02; $0.875 million in FY ‘03
FCLP - $5.2 million allocated in Illinois since 1980
          - $0 allocated since FY ‘95


Forest Stewardship

Title XII of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (16 USC 2/0/et seq)/Adm. Code -- USDA Forest Service Operational Guidelines

Contact
District Forester or District Biologist in the county where the land is located
or
IL Department of Natural Resources
    Division of Resource Protection and Stewardship (217) 782-2361
    Division of Natural Heritage (217) 785-8774
    Division of Wildlife (217) 782-6384
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Fax: (217) 785-5517
TDD: (217) 782-9175

Objective
Manage and enhance Illinois' forests for environmental, social and economic benefits within the landowner goals and the potential of the forest resource.

Incentive
Changes have not been finalized under the new farm bill. They will be posted as soon as they are available.

Requirements
The land must be rural forest land or land to be reforested; all of the forest acreage owned by a participant must be included in forest management plan approved by the District Forester. Minimum area is five acres with no buildings. This program may be used with the Illinois Forestry Development Act.


Illinois Forestry Development Act Program (FDA)

525 ILCS 15/5 (1992)/Adm. Code - Title 17 Conservation Chapter I: Department of Conservation, Subchapter D: Forestry, Part 1536: Forestry Development Cost-Share Program and PART 1537: Forest Management Plan

Contact
District Forester of the county where the land is located
or
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Resource Protection and Stewardship
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-2361
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-5517

Objective
Manage forests for environmental, social and economic benefits and for timber production.

Incentive
With an approved Forest Stewardship Management Plan, landowners are guaranteed a lower assessment of 1/6 of the agricultural assessment; 75% cost-share available for tree planting, site preparation, vegetation control, fire breaks, fencing and thinning and pruning. Can be combined with other federal programs as long as the FDA and federal provisions are met.

Requirements
Landowners must own or operate at least five contiguous acres of land in the state with no buildings; the property must have an approved forest management plan. One of the primary management goals must be timber production.


Illinois Water Well Abandonment Program
Conservation 2000

Conservation 2000 (Public Act 89-40)
30ILCS 105/5.401; 105/5.402; 105/6Z-28; 105/8.25g

Contact
County Soil and Water Conservation District Office (SWCD)
or
IL Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources
State Fairgrounds, P.O. 19281
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993

Objective
Provide technical and financial assistance to owners of improperly abandoned water wells; assure that appropriate well-sealing measures are used to protect groundwater from potential contamination.

Incentive
An individual who owns or manages an abandoned water well within Illinois is eligible. An applicant may receive a cost-share of $500 or 80% of actual cost, whichever is less, for one well within each SWCD.

Requirements
Applicants must file a Request for Cost-Share, a Water Well Sealing Plan, and a cost estimate with the SWCD. The SWCD will review the applications and prioritize wells on the basis of well location and condition. Highest priority will be given to private wells that pose the greatest risk. The cost-share recipient must:

  • Comply with state and local water well codes and other safeguards established by the SWCD and local health department.
  • Notify the local health department at least 48 hours prior to beginning the work.
  • File a Water Well Sealing Form with the local health department within 30 days of well sealing. The SWCD can help the well owner complete the form if a licensed contractor does not seal the well.
  • Provide the SWCD with the final costs of the sealing, and evidence that the project was completed and the Water Well Sealing form was filed with the local health department.

Abandoned well means a water or monitoring well which is no longer used to supply water, or which is in such state of disrepair that the well or boring has the potential for transmitting contaminants into an aquifer or otherwise threatens public health or safety. (77 ILL Adm. Code 920.10)


Lake Education Assistance Program (LEAP)

Illinois Lake Management Program Act [525 ILCS 25]; Section 6z-31 of the State Finance Act [30 ILCS 105/6z-31]; and Conservation 2000 [Public Act 89-49].

Contact
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Division of Water Pollution Control
Surface Water Section, Lake Unit
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276
Phone: (217) 782-3362
TDD: (217) 782-9143

Objective
To provide assistance to teachers, youth, not-for-profit organizations, and others to carry out inland lake and lake watershed information/education programs and activities.

Incentive
One part of the program provides funding up to $500 for "Teacher/Youth" and "not-for-profit" participation in lake/watershed related educational field trips and activities. It might also fund the attendance of teachers or students at lake/watershed-related seminars and workshops, pay for specialized equipment, etc.

Requirements
Programs and activities must have stated goals and involve the enhanced lake/watershed education of teachers, students, organizations, and/or communities. A final report is required, including such things as the level of student/member/citizen involvement, videos, photographs, artwork, and/or written work. Application deadlines are September 31 and January 31. Funding is in the form of "reimbursement," not "up front" payments.

Statistics
Initiated in FY ‘97
FY ‘97-'01: $270,000


Nonpoint Source Management Program 

Section 319 of the Water Quality Act of 1987

Contact
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Watershed Management Section, Nonpoint Source Unit
P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
Phone: (217) 782-3362

Objective
To implement innovative and traditional measures to control Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution; improve Illinois water quality resources; and promote the public's knowledge and awareness of NPS pollution.

Incentive
Monies are used to finance projects that implement cost-effective solutions to NPS problems and promote the public's awareness and knowledge of NPS pollution. Examples of funded projects include streambank stabilization, detention basin retrofitting, wetland acquisition and creation, terraces, waterways, nutrient management, TMDL development, and educational programs. Recipients must develop, implement and administer a project, as well as ensure its long-term maintenance. Projects are 60% Federal, 40% local match in cash or in-kind services.

Requirements
There are no specific restrictions prohibiting any entity (public or private) from being a potential assistance recipient. Those who have received assistance in the past include municipalities, park districts, state agencies, planning commissions, and soil and water conservation districts. Proposals must be submitted by August 1 of each year. Proposal packages are available at the above address or from the Illinois EPA's web page at www.epa.state.il.us.

Statistics
Since 1990, more than $30 million dollars have been made available for projects.
In 2001, more than $6 million was available for projects.


Partners for Wildlife

Section 1 of the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (48 Stat. 401, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq) and Sec. 7 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1952, 16 U.S.C. 742 F (a) (4).

Contact
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Rock Island Field Office
4469 48th Avenue Ct.
Rock Island, IL 61201
Phone: (309) 793-5800
or
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62701-6384
Phone: (217) 782-6384
TDD: (217) 782-9175

Objective
Restore wetlands on private land in Illinois to provide habitat for transient waterfowl and other wildlife, improve surface water quality, provide flood protection and recharge groundwater through a fund matching agreement with the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources.

Incentive
Up to 100% cost-share for restoring wetlands including survey and design, construction of earthen dikes, tile excavation and installing water control structures.

Requirements
Private landowners with restorable wetlands, which they agree to maintain for 10 years.


Streambank Stabilization and Restoration Program

Conservation 2000

Administrative Code 30ILCS 105/5.401; 105/5.402; 105/6Z-28; 105/8.25g

Contact
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources
State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993

Objective
Demonstrate effective, low-cost vegetative and other bio-engineering techniques that may be used to stabilize streambanks in suitable locations. Encourage the adoption of low-cost streambank stabilization practices by making available financial incentives, technical assistance, and educational information to landowners with severely eroding streambanks that qualify. Techniques commonly used include bendway weirs, rock riffles, stone toe protection, streams barbs, rock vanes, and willow posts.

Incentive
Financial assistance on installation of approved practices at a cost-share rate of 75 percent. The remaining 25 percent of the project cost is the responsibility of the landowner. The cost-share payment may be used to cover labor, equipment and materials costs associated with the project. In addition, the program provides full funding for select demonstration projects.

Requirements
All landowners and project sites (rural and urban) in each Illinois county are eligible for cost-share assistance, provided that the project site meets the assessment and selection criteria established for successful streambank stabilization using willow posts.

All project proposals must be sponsored and approved by the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board. Qualified SWCD or USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service employees will provide technical assistance. Proposals received by the submittal deadline will be reviewed, evaluated, and selected by a committee established by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for this purpose.

Projects approved for funding must have an Agreement Terms and Conditions Form, signed by the landowner, prior to issuing authorization to initiate the project. The Agreement Terms and Conditions Form is a legal and binding document between the landowner and SWCD outlining the responsibilities and obligations of the landowner for constructing and maintaining all approved cost-share streambank stabilization practices, as well as agreed to non-cost-share supporting practices (i.e. fencing to exclude livestock).

The agreement signed by the landowner and the SWCD will also state the length of time for which maintenance responsibilities are obligated by the contract. The landowner is responsible for maintaining or performing all agreed upon conservation practices for 10 years from the date of installation.

Statistics
From FY 1999 to 2002 the annual funding level has been $800,000. In FY 2002 the IDOA received an additional $1,000,000 from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that will be used over three years on projects with the Illinois River Basin.


Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
Conservation 2000

Administrative Code 30ILCS 105/5.401; 105/5.402; 105/6Z-28; 105/8.25g

Contact
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources
State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993

Objective
To carry out research, education and on-farm demonstration projects which support sustainable agriculture or agricultural management systems that maintain profitability while protecting the environment.

Incentive
Competitive grants may be awarded to individuals for up to $10,000. Units of government, non-profit groups, institutions or organizations may receive non-matching grants of up to $50,000 per project in any one year. Multi-year grants will be considered for three consecutive years of funding. Grant monies are available in four program areas: on-farm research and demonstration; outreach and education; university research; and training and education.

Requirements
Any unit of government, organization, educational institution, non-profit group or individual is eligible to receive funding through the Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program provided they can demonstrate: (1) an understanding of sustainable agriculture practices and systems, and (2) the ability and skills to carry out the project in a timely and professional manner. Cooperative projects with two or more organizations are encouraged. Successful projects should include a method to disseminate information to the agriculture community and the public, and to provide information on the social, economic and environmental benefits of the project.

Proposals, which are accepted annually in the early fall, will be reviewed by a selection committee. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of the calendar year.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will enter into a written grant agreement with successful applicants. The grant agreement will specify the terms and conditions of the grant including project duration, funding amount, payment schedule, timetable for submitting interim and final reports, and other necessary administrative or statutory requirements.

Statistics
From FY 1999 to 2002 the annual funding level has been $750,000.


Trees, Shrubs and Seedlings at No Cost

20 ILCS 80/63a8 (1992)/Adm. Code - Title 17, Chapter I, Subchapter d; Forestry, PART 1540. Distribution and Sale of Plants and Plant material.

Contact
District Forester or District Biologist of county where the land is located
or
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Resource Protection and Stewardship (217) 782-2361
Division of Natural Heritage (217) 785-8774
Division of Wildlife (217) 782-6384
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Fax: (217) 785-5517
TDD: (217) 782-9175

Objective
Encourage landowners to reforest land, increase wildlife habitat and control erosion.

Incentive
Seedlings provided at no charge; can be used in conjunction with other state and federal incentive programs.

Requirements
The landowner must have an IDNR approved management plan.



Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)

Title XII, Section 1237 of FSA, as amended/Adm. Code - USDA, NRCS Operation Handbook, WRP

Contact
Natural Resources Conservation Service county office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1902 Fox Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217)398-5267

The NRCS administers the program in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other Federal agencies

Objective
Restore and protect wetlands.

Incentive
WRP offers three options: permanent easements, 30-year easements, and restoration agreements. Interested landowners must submit a signed application to the NRCS, which determines if the proposed land is eligible. The landowner, NRCS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the District Forester develop a preliminary plan and complete a site-ranking worksheet. The NRCS State Office ranks all applications and makes recommendations for final selections, then the NRCS State Conservationist notifies applicants as to whether they are tentatively selected. Based on a certified land appraisal, the NRCS offers the landowner a payment for the easement, up to $950.00 for each acre. The landowner then files the easement and restores the wetland.

NRCS reimburses the landowner for part of the restoration cost, depending on the easement type. For 30-year easements and restoration agreements, USDA will cost share 75% of the average cost of establishing essential practices within the easement area. The other 25% are the responsibility of the landowner, who can seek other funds for those expenses such as: Ducks Unlimited, local rod and gun clubs, County Conservation Boards, etc.

Requirements
Continuous sign-up began in October 1996. The property owner must have owned the land for the previous 12 months (except in the case of inheritance) and have clear title to it. The land must be restorable and suitable for wildlife benefits, for example, wetlands farmed under natural conditions; farmed wetlands; prior converted croplands; farmed wetland pasture; farmland substantially altered by flooding; land adjacent to wetlands that contribute significantly to wetland functions and values; and riparian areas which link protected wetlands.


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Emergency Conservation Program

Agricultural Credit Act of 1978, Title IV, Public Law 95-334, 16 U.S.C. 2201-2205

Contact
Farm Service Agency/county office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19273
Springfield, IL 62794-9273
Phone: (217) 241-6600
TDD: 1(800) 526-0844, the Illinois Relay Center

Technical assistance by Natural Resources Conservation Service

Objective
Enable farmers to perform emergency conservation measures to rehabilitate farmlands damaged by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, or other natural disasters, to carry out emergency water conservation or water-enhancing measures during periods of drought, and to control wind erosion.

Incentive
Direct payments for specified use.


Forest Management Assistance Program

Adm. Code 20 ILCS 805/63a8

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Forest Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-2361
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax (217) 785-5517

Objective
Manage, protect, develop and enhance the private and public rural and urban forest resources to improve the quality and quantity of that resource, to improve wildlife habitat, soil and water conservation, and the quality of life for Illinois residents.

Incentive
Professional and technical forest management assistance in the development and implementation of forest management and stewardship plans, reforestation plans, urban forestry plans, urban forestry plans, forest protection (wildfire) plans, and forest product/utilization plans. Assistance includes consulting directly with private landowners, communities, and the forest product industry, field inspections, monitoring plan achievements, and evaluating plan effectiveness. On occasion, professional forestry equipment is loaned to the public to complete a forestry task. Also, plant materials are provided for reforestation and wildlife enhancement projects from two IDNR nurseries that specialize in high quality native hardwood trees and wildlife shrubs.

This program coordinates and administers both state and federal forestry cost-share programs, and coordinates with IDNR divisions and other conservation agencies the delivery of forestry and related resources services to public and private forest landowners.
The program works with these landowners to insure environmental stability within the state's forest ecosystems, while attempting to increase the economic and social benefits derived from these lands.


Inland Lake Management Technical Assistance

Illinois Lake Management Program Act [525 ILCS 25]; Section 6z-31 of the State Finance Act [30 ILCS 105/6z-31]; and Conservation 2000 [Public Act 89-49].

Contact
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Monitoring and Assessment (M&A) Units:

Des Plaines M&A Unit 9511 W. Harrison St.
Des Plaines, IL 60016 Phone: (847) 294-4000
Springfield M&A Unit
  4500 South Sixth Street Springfield, IL 62706 Phone: (217) 786-6892
Marion M&A Unit
  2309 West Main Street
Marion, IL 62959
Phone: (618) 993-7200

Objective
To improve inland lake resources by providing technical assistance and information to lake managers, lake management associations, watershed landowners, Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program participants, and the general public.

Incentive
This program offers one-on-one, site-specific technical assistance pertaining to the management of Illinois' inland lake resources. This includes a number of potential services, including identification of causes and sources of pollution, identification of in-lake and watershed management alternatives, assistance with developing and applying for Clean Lakes Program financial assistance, training of citizens pursuant to the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, and support of lake and watershed related educational efforts.


Natural Heritage Landmarks

Natural Heritage Preservation Act

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 785-8774
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-8277

Objective
Recognize landowners who voluntarily preserve their land, often a first step to dedication of land as a nature preserve.

Incentive
A sign and certificate are provided to the landowner recognizing the Landmark designation. Nature Preserves Commission may recommend the type of management needed for the site.

Requirements
Land or water must be an outstanding natural area or endangered species site -- area must be included on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. Land must be in private ownership. Eligibility is determined by the IDNR.


Private Land Wildlife Habitat Program

Adm. Code 520 ILCS 5/1 et seq.

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-6384
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-2438

Objective
Protect, enhance and develop wildlife habitat on private land to improve wildlife populations, soil and water conservation, and quality of life for Illinois residents.

Incentive
The program assists landowners with plans, field equipment, plant materials, and labor to develop, implement and maintain wildlife habitat management practices that require specialized training, equipment or resources which would otherwise be unavailable to landowners. This includes managing assistance provided by other agencies and organizations. Planning assistance includes technical advice, consultations, wildlife plan development, field inspections, monitoring plan implementation, and evaluating plan effectiveness. Field equipment assistance includes site preparation and planting, equipment scheduling, operation and maintenance.

Plant materials assistance includes wildlife food and cover grains, native and introduced grass, forb and legume seed and seedlings, and tree and shrub seedlings. Manpower assistance includes coordinating and supervising fieldwork, workers, and volunteers, and follow-up for practice development and maintenance purposes. The program coordinates wildlife habitat management on private lands with other agencies by developing and supporting the wildlife habitat management planning and implementation capabilities of federal, state, and local natural resources agencies, and developing and administering wildlife related aspects of farm commodity programs, natural resource conservation programs, and environmental protection programs.

Requirements
Land must be in private ownership and be a minimum of one acre in rural areas and one-quarter acre in urban areas.


Private Waters Program

The Illinois Fish Code, Sect. 5/1-140, Production for Stocking, PA87-833; 5/1-150 Preservation of Aquatic Life; 5/1-155 Conservation Training Schools

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fisheries
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-6424
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-8262

Objective
Assure that all impounded waters and streams are being properly managed to produce the best angling opportunities.

Incentive
Free management advice and fish costs considerably below commercial price. For impoundments, a district fisheries biologist will provide technical counseling on fish population management, habitat development, water quality and vegetation control, as well as providing fish population rehabilitation services by applying rotenone and coordinating fish stocking. For streams, a streams biologist will conduct field inspections and provide technical counseling on stream improvement, including bank stabilization and habitat development.


Register of Land and Water Reserves

Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act (535 ILCS 30/1 et seq.)/17 Ill. Adm. Code, Part 4010

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 785-8774
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-8277

Objective
Provide protection for natural areas, significant wildlife habitat, and high quality restorations that are not conducive for dedication as a nature preserve. Provides some protection for lands that are appropriate for dedication when the landowner is not ready to make that level of commitment. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission oversees the stewardship, management, and protection of the property.

Incentive
Reduced valuation of the property for tax purposes if registered in perpetuity -- 8 1/3% of fair market value of the land and 33 1/3% of the fair market value of improvements or structures. In Cook County (where property is classified for purpose of taxation), contact the local assessor for specific reduction percentages.

Requirements
Land or water must have natural heritage resources or archaeological resources of statewide significance; land may be privately or publicly owned. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission determines eligibility.


Rivers, Trails and Conservation Programs

Contact
National Park Service
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program
Illinois Project Coordinator
25 East Washington, Suite 1650
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 427-3688
Fax: (312) 377-2169

Objective
Conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways.

Incentive
Staff provides assistance with: building partnerships to achieve community-set goals, assessing resources, developing concept plans, engaging public participation, building consensus, and identifying potential sources of funding. Project partners may be non-profit organizations, community groups, tribes or tribal governments, and local or state government agencies. Assistance is for one year but may be renewed for a second year if warranted.

Requirements
Contact the Illinois coordinator to seek guidance before applying for assistance. The National Park Service regional offices competitively evaluate applications based on how well they meet the following criteria:

1) A clear anticipated outcome leading to on-the-ground success;
2) Commitment, cooperation, and cost-sharing by interested public agencies and non-profit organizations or user groups;
3) Opportunity for significant public involvement;
4) Protection of significant natural and/or cultural resources and enhancement of outdoor recreational opportunities; and
5) Consistency with the National Park Service mission and Rivers & Trails goals.

Statistics
Each year, our partners protect more than 1,000 miles of rivers, create 700 miles of trails, and conserve more than 30,000 acres of open space. By working side-by-side with grassroots groups and local governments, the National Park Service is helping to build a nationwide system of parks, open spaces, rivers, and trails.



Soil and Water Conservation

Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts Act (ILCS, Ch. 70, PAR.. 405/1 et seq)

Contact
County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
or
Illinois Department of Agriculture
State Fairgrounds
P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Fax: (217) 557-0993

Objective
Provide technical assistance and education on conserving soil and water resources, and preventing soil erosion and sediment damages.

Incentive
Technically trained SWCD staff in each county office will help individuals and local governments develop conservation and watershed plans, design and survey conservation practices, and provide and interpret natural resource information. They will also provide information on other conservation- and natural resource-related financial and technical assistance available from state and federal government.

Requirements
None. The service is available to all Illinois citizens.


PROPERTY TAX INCENTIVES

Assessment of Property Encumbered by Easements

Illinois Constitution of 1970, Article 9, par. 4(c)
Property Tax Code, Sec. 9-145(e)

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Encourage preservation of natural areas.

Incentive
Any depreciation in the value of real estate occasioned by a public easement may be deducted in assessing such property. Any property dedicated as a nature preserve or as a nature preserve buffer under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act shall be depreciated as a public easement for assessment purposes to $1 an acre or portion thereof.

Requirements
Property must have depreciated because of a public easement, or be dedicated as a nature preserve.


Conservation Easements and Other Rights

The Real Property Conservation Rights Act (765 ILCS 120/1 et. seq.)

Conservation rights are required by law to be filed with:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Objective
Preserve structures having architectural, historical, or cultural significance; land or water predominately in their natural, scenic, open or wooded condition or as suitable habitat for fish, plants, or wildlife; or to preserve the integrity of archaeological sites and artifacts or information which they may contain pending properly supervised excavation and investigation.

Incentive
A landowner may grant a conservation easement to any agency of the state, a unit of local government, or a not-for-profit corporation or trust. The appraised value of an easement may qualify for a federal income tax deduction as a charitable contribution. If the land is encumbered in perpetuity and provides a public benefit, the land will be valued at 8 1/3% of fair market value, estimated as if it were not registered or encumbered, and improvements or structures will be valued at 33 1/3% of fair market value. In Cook County (where property is classified for purpose of taxation), contact the local assessor for specific reduction percentages.

Requirements
To qualify for the property tax reduction, the conservation right must provide a public benefit as certified by IDNR. Land providing such benefits include land providing regular public access to outdoor recreation or education; land preserving habitat for threatened or endangered species; land which contributes to the ecological viability of a park, conservation area, nature preserve or other high quality area; land included in or consistent with any government policy or plan for the conservation of wildlife habitat or open space, for the restoration or protection of lakes and streams, or for the protection of scenic areas. Also included is land identified in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory and land eligible for registration under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act.


Exemption of Illinois Prairie Path Corporation Leases

Property Tax Code, Sec. 15-55

Contact
County Board of Review

Objective
Preserve natural areas and develop trails for the benefit of the public.

Incentive
Leases by the State to the Illinois Prairie Path Corporation are exempt from property tax if used for specified conservation, education , and specified recreational activities. Application for exemption should be made to the county board of review.

Requirements
The land must be used for specified conservation, education and recreational activities.


Exemption of Property Leased to a Park District

Property Tax Code, Sec. 15-105(b)

Contact
County Board of Review

Objective
Encourage leasing of land to be preserved as open space.

Incentive
All property leased to a park district or conservation district with 2 million or fewer inhabitants for $1 or less per year and used exclusively as open space for recreational purposes is exempt. There is a limit of 50 acres in the aggregate for each district. Application for exemption should be made to the county board of review.

Requirements
No more than 50 acres in the aggregate is exempt.


Forest Legacy Program (FLP)

Section 1217 of Title XII of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-624:104 stat. 3359)/Adm. Code - USDA Forest Service Operational Guidelines

Contact
State Forester's Office
or
District Forester in a designated Forest Legacy Area
or
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Resource Protection and Stewardship
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 782-2361
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-5517

Objective
The FLP identifies and protects environmentally important private forestland threatened by conversion to nonforest uses. This program is administered nationally by the U. S. Forest Service, and locally by the Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee of the State Forester in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Incentive
A private forest landowner may negotiate the sale of selected interests in their forestland, or the sale of their forestlands, to the Federal government (the U. S. Forest Service) to insure these lands remain in forest environment in perpetuity. This is entirely a voluntary program. The preferred option is for the Federal government to purchase a private forest landowner's development interest. The land would then remain in the possession of the private landowner, who would be entitled to the benefits provided under the Illinois Forestry Development Act. (See following Forestry Management Plan)

Requirements
To be eligible to participate in the FLP, the private forestland must be in a designated Forest Legacy Area (FLA). Illinois has three (3) FLA's officially designated by the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture -- the Great Rivers Bluffs FLA is located along the bluffs of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in western Jersey County and Calhoun County; the Peoria Bluffs FLA is located along both sides of the Illinois River north of Peoria in Peoria and Woodford Counties; and the Rock River FLA is located along both sides of the Rock River between Rockford and Dixon. Private forest landowners in these areas may make application with the Department of Natural Resources.


Forestry Management Plan

Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-150

Contact
District Forester of the county where the land is located

Objective
Encourage forest land use, protection and management.

Incentive
Guarantees forest land is assessed as "other farmland". "Other farmland" is assessed based upon the productivity potential of the soil. For downstate counties "other farmland" is assessed at 1/6 of what it would be if it were being cropped. For the 2002 assessment year, the assessment for "other farmland" in downstate counties would range from $1.81 per acre for the least productive soil in the state to $62.63 per acre for the most productive soil in the state.

Requirements
Land in counties other than Cook, being managed under an Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved forestry management plan (pursuant to the Illinois Forestry Development Act), is eligible to be assessed under the farmland category of "other farmland". In Cook County any land totaling 15 acres or less for which an approved forestry management plan was in effect on or before December 31, 1985 is eligible to be assessed as "other farmland". Cook County farm assessments do not differentiate between land use categories, so "other farmland" is assessed similarly to all types of farmland. (Department of Natural Resources must inform Department of Revenue and each chief county assessment officer of each parcel of eligible land.)

Statistics
Currently about 7,500 approved forestry management plans comprising about 350,000 acres.


Illinois Nature Preserves

Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act (525 ILCS 30/1 et. seq.)/17 Ill. Adm. Code, Parts 1510, 4000 and 4005.

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 785-8774
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-8277

Objective
Preserve for future generations the highest quality natural areas in the State and to provide habitat for native plants and animals. To allow and facilitate, dependent upon the landowner's permission, the visitation of nature preserves for nature observation, study, education, and aesthetic appreciation. To provide perpetual protection of the preserve against intrusions.

Incentive
Property tax reduced to the assessed value of $1 acre/year in perpetuity. The commission oversees the stewardship, management and protection of the land.

Requirements
Land or water must be an outstanding natural area or endangered species site. Land may be in either private or public ownership. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission determines eligibility.


Non-Clear Cut Assessment

P.A. 91-907
Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-153

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
To protect wildlife habitat and the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams.

Incentive
Land is valued at 1/12th of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland if it is within 15 yards of waters listed by the Department of Natural Resources under Section 5 of the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act as navigable and has not been clear cut of trees.

Requirements
The land cannot be located in a unit of local government that has a population greater than 500,000.


Open Space Assessment

Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-155

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Preserve land in open space.

Incentive
Land used for open space purposes and so used for the 3 years immediately preceding the assessment year is eligible for a dual assessment. Taxes are paid on the lower "use" value unless the use changes. In that case there is a "rollback" tax equal to what the tax would have been at the higher market value valuation for the previous three years less the taxes actually paid plus 5% interest. The lower "use valuation" may vary by location, type of property, and court decisions. Application must be made to the chief county assessment officer by January 31 of each year for which the valuation is desired. (Not available in Cook County.)

Requirements
Minimum area is 10 acres and:

1. Is actually and exclusively used for maintaining or enhancing natural or scenic resources,
2. Protects air or streams or water supplies,
3. Promotes conservation of soil, wetlands, beaches or marshes, including ground cover or planted perennial grasses, trees and shrubs and other natural perennial growth, and including any body of water, whether manmade or natural,
4. Conserves landscaped areas, such as public or private golf courses,
5. Enhances the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations, sanctuaries, or other open spaces, or
6. Preserves historic sites.

Land is not considered used for open space purposes if it is used primarily for residential purposes.

Statistics
For 1994 taxes, payable in 1995, the difference between the market value assessment and the dual value assessment statewide was $314.7 million before application of the state multiplier. This amount includes the Airport Dual Assessment program also (Sec. 10-90 et seq.).


Preferential Assessment of Farmland

Property Tax Code, Sec. 1-60 (Definition.) Sec. 10-110, et seq

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Preservation of desirable land uses.

Incentive
If property is used as a farm and has been used as a farm for the previous two years it is eligible for a farmland assessment. The farmland assessment is a formula value called the "agricultural economic value" based on income and expense data capitalized at a prescribed interest rate and certified by the Department on a per acre basis by soil productivity index. The result is generally substantially lower than market value based assessment, particularly in counties with development pressure.

Property Tax Code, Section 10-125 -- Assessments are then based on:
a. Cropland, 33 1/3% of the agricultural economic value of the productivity index of the soil.
b. Permanent pasture, at 1/3 of its value as cropland.
c. Other farmland at 1/6 of its value as cropland.
d. Wasteland on its contributory value to the farmland parcel. If it has a contributory value it is 1/6 of the EAV for the lowest certified productivity index. If it does not have a contributory value, it is valued at zero.

In Cook County the equalized assessed value of farmland is the lesser of 16% of fair cash value, or 90% of the 1983 average equalized assessed value per acre certified by the Department.

Requirements
The property must be used as a farm, have been used as a farm for the previous two years, and not be primarily residential. The definition of farmland includes agricultural use. Some uses of special interest in a conservation context would be tree nurseries, orchards, forestry, sod farming, bees, fish and wildlife farming.

Statistics
30.2 million acres; average per acre assessment for 2001 was $164.


Preferential Assessment of Common Areas

Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-35

Contact
Township Assessor; Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Encourage open spaces in residential developments.

Incentive
Residential property that is individually owned and includes the use of a "common area" for recreational or similar residential purposes is assessed at a value which includes the owner's share of the common area. The common area or areas which are used for recreational or similar residential purposes and are assessed to a separate owner on separate parcels shall be assessed at $1 per year. (In Cook County, application to the assessor is required.) Notification of the assessor must be made if the ownership changes.

Requirements
Residential property must be individually owned and include the use of a "common area" for recreation or similar residential purposes.


Tax Bills Optional for Equalized Assessed Valuation Less Than $150

Property Tax Code, Sec. 18-40

Contact
County Clerk

Objective
To allow the county to forego the cost of tax billing and collection of small amounts.

Incentive
County Clerk may decide not to extend taxes on any parcel with an equalized assessed value of less than $150. For example, a landowner may decide to put 20 acres of cropland having a marginal product index of 75 into an approved forestry management plan. As cropland, the 20 acres would receive a 2001 equalized assessment valuation of $835. Putting the 20 acres into trees, however, would reduce the assessment to $139, an amount that could be exempted from taxation.

Statistics
In 2000, 66,808 parcels were removed from the tax base for a total equalized assessed valuation loss of about $2.4 million.


Tax Certification Program for Livestock Waste Management Facilities

Property Tax Code, Sec. 11-5 through 11-30

Contact
IL Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Watershed Management Section
1021 North Grand Avenue East
Springfield, IL 62794
Phone: (217) 782-3362
TDD: (217) 782-9143

Objective
Encourage livestock producers to construct waste storage structures and other structures that prevent water pollution.

Incentive
Reduced property tax for pollution control improvements such as manure pits, liquid livestock waste storage facilities, feedlot runoff sediment capture basins and tanks. IEPA recommends to the IL Pollution Control Board that the improvements qualify. The IPCB may certify the improvements and issue the tax certification, which is transmitted to the IL Department of Revenue. The IDR assumes authority from the county tax assessment office to assess the value of the facilities based upon the remaining useful life and salvage value of the improvements.

Requirements
The improvement must be certified by the IPCB which bases its decision, in part, on an IEPA recommendation that the primary purpose of the facility is water pollution control.


Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment

Administrative Code 35ILCS 200/10-152

Contact
County Soil and Water Conservation District Office

or
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources
State Fairgrounds, PO Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993
  or
Illinois Department of Revenue
Office of Local Government Services
101 W. Jefferson St., P.O. Box 19033
Springfield, IL 62794-9033
Phone: (217) 782-6957
Fax: (217) 782-9932

Objective
To voluntarily protect the water quality of lakes, rivers, streams, creeks or other water bodies, by providing a property tax reduction incentive to landowners who install vegetative filter strips between farm fields and the water body to be protected.

Incentive
Land on which vegetative filter strips are constructed and certified by the County Soil and Water Conservation District Board will be assessed at one-sixth of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland. In Cook County, land converted to filter strips shall be valued at the lesser of either (1) 16% of the fair cash value of the farmland estimated at the price it would bring at a fair, voluntary sale for use by the buyer as a farm; or (2) 90% of the 1983 average equalized assessed value per acre certified by the Department of Revenue.

Requirements
Interested landowners may contact the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the county in which they reside. SWCD staff will provide technical assistance in the design, surveying and certification of vegetative filter strips. The SWCD must develop a conservation plan for the creation of the filter strip that is to be kept on file in the SWCD office.

To be eligible for a reduced property tax assessment, vegetative filter strips must meet the standards and specifications set forth in the Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Guide and contain vegetation that:

  • has a dense top growth,
  • forms a uniform ground cover,
  • has a fibrous root system, and
  • tolerates pesticides used on the farm field.

Following the certification of the vegetative filter strip by the SWCD Board, the applicant must file the certification document with the Chief County Assessment Officer.

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