Riparian Protection Aid
This aid program is for counties and watershed districts to oversee the riparian protection and water quality practices required under statute. Each county’s aid amount is based on several factors, including its share of the total statewide:
class 2a agricultural acreage
centerline miles of public watercourses
miles of public drainage ditches
The Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Department of Natural Resources certify the data used to calculate the aid to the Department of Revenue.
The Riparian Protection Aid for 2021 that was certified on July 31, 2020 was made with an appropriation amount of $8 million.
Every Minnesota county has statutory reporting requirements to the State of Minnesota involving data from their property tax system. The data in these reports are used by the Department of Revenue in multiple ways including certifying future aid payments.
Anoka County has not submitted the current report the department uses as one of the inputs to calculate Riparian Aid. Therefore, the department used 2019 data for Anoka County to certify Riparian Aid for 2021. There is no impact on aid payments to recipients. Anoka receives the minimum amount of Riparian Aid, and even substantial changes would not impact aid certified for Anoka or any other jurisdiction.
The Riparian Protection Aid for 2020 that was certified on July 31, 2019 was made with an appropriation amount of $8 million.
The Riparian Protection Aid for 2019 that was certified on July 31, 2018 has been updated for payments made in 2019 to reflect the appropriation amount of $8 million instead of $10 million.
When Riparian Protection Aid was created in 2017, the omnibus tax bill included an ongoing statutory appropriation of $8 million. The 2017 omnibus environment budget bill included an additional $2 million appropriation. However, because it was in session law, it was only appropriated for that biennium. There have been no additional appropriations.
The aid is equal to $8 million for calendar year 2017 and $10 million for calendar 2018. The aid to a county cannot exceed $160,000 in 2017 and $200,000 in 2018. The aid to a county cannot be less than $40,000 in 2017 and $50,000 in 2018.
How is the aid distributed?
Each county's share of the aid will be distributed to the entity with jurisdiction over implementing the buffer law. This may be the county, watershed districts, or the state Board of Water and Soil Resources. The Department of Revenue will pay the counties and the Board of Water and Soil Resources. The counties will pay the watershed districts.
Enacted in 2015, Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.48, requires buffer land along all public waters and public drainage systems in the state. Buffers on public waters must be in place by November 1, 2017, and buffers on public drainage systems must be in place by November 1, 2018. The Riparian Protection Aid in this section is to be used to enforce and implement these requirements.
For more information on Riparian Protection Aid, view the law (M.S 477A.21).