A simple step with big rewards
Enroll your native prairie in a Native Prairie Tax Exemption and eliminate property taxes on that parcel.
What is Native Prairie Tax Exemption?
In 1980 the state legislature — in recognition of the critical importance of native prairie — created an incentive for landowners to preserve their native prairie: Prairie Tax Exemption. This exempts eligible lands from property taxes and is administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in cooperation with local County Tax Assessors.
What lands are eligible?
To be eligible for Native Prairie Tax Exemption, a parcel of land must meet the following criteria:
- Never been plowed, cultivated, or reseeded; not severely altered by heavy grazing or herbicides
- Dominated throughout by native prairie vegetation and no, or limited, tree cover
- At least 5 native prairie species of grasses or sedges and 12 native prairie wildflower species present
- Cannot be grazed (annually hayed tracts may still qualify)
- Be at least 5 acres (smaller tracts with important rare species habitat or other significant prairie features may still qualify)
After a landowner has applied, a DNR prairie specialist will visit the property to evaluate and certify qualifying acres. The application is then sent to the local County Assessor for enrollment.
How does this reduce property taxes?
Here is an example. Let's say on 40 acres: 30 acres are cropland and 10 acres are a native prairie hillside too steep to farm. If the assessed value of the cropland is $3,000/acre and the native prairie is $1,000/acre, the total assessed value of the land is reduced by $10,000 if the prairie is enrolled in Prairie Tax Exemption.
Cropland (30ac x $3000/ac)
Native Prairie (10ac x $1000/ac)
Total Assessed Value
How do I apply?
Complete the application.
Other ways you can help save Minnesota's native prairies
- Enroll your native prairie in a Native Prairie Bank, a conservation easement administered by the Minnesota DNR.
- Maintain and improve the quality of your native prairie through prescribed burning, rotational haying, and other management practices.
- The Prairies of Minnesota Landowner Handbook is a great resource for prairie landowners.
- Sell or gift your prairie.
For more information
Contact the DNR Prairie Biologist.