116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
If the Iowa Legislature enacts changes in the Forest and Fruit Tree Reservation law, we will wake up on Jan. 1 with new rules for our forest reserves. The new minimum acreage would increase from two acres to 10 acres. The property tax exemption would drop from 100 percent to 75 percent of the actual value of the reserve land.
The proposed bill, Senate File 112, was approved by the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. It is now heading for the full Senate. SF 112 would change a long standing 100 percent exemption for Iowa's Forest and Orchard Reserves.
SF 112 is little known outside of the Capitol. In a recent ZOOM call there was no representation from the land owners of southeast Iowa where residents are opposed to poor management and violations of the current forest reserve rules. SF 112 is certainly not a bill that would solve a problem.
There have been no public announcements or notices about SF 112 to the owners of forest reserves. My family and my neighbors in northeast Iowa are unaware of the new tax and acreage limits it would bring. Forest reserves, in all their beauty, visual, recreation, and environmental values are a gift to the citizens of Iowa. If you are interested in preserving them I urge that you share your opinions with your Senators and Representatives at this critical time. In that SF 112 has no value it should be abandoned.
Edward R. Gross
Forest reserve owner and tree farmer
North Fayette County