January 01, 2012 Board Resolution # 11-98
I. Background: Minnesota Statutes 103G.2242, Subds. 14 and 15, require the Board of Water and Soil Resources to collect fees for administering the state wetland banking program.
The statute reads:
Subd. 14. Fees Established. Fees must be assessed for managing wetland bank accounts and transactions as follows:
- account maintenance annual fee: one percent of the value of credits not to exceed $500;
- account establishment, deposit, or transfer: 6.5 percent of the value of credits not to exceed $1,000 per establishment, deposit, or transfer; and
- withdrawal fee: 6.5 percent of the value of credits withdrawn.
Subd. 15. Fees Paid To Board. All fees established in subdivision 14 must be paid to the Board of Water and Soil Resources and credited to the general fund to be used for the purpose of administration of the wetland bank. The fee structure and procedures described in Part III were implemented beginning Jan. 1, 2004, and are subject to annual evaluation and possible change.
Updated rates for 2011 will go into effect for sales made after March 31, 2011. A signed / dated copy of the purchase agreement must accompany applications received after that date if the 2010 rates are used to calculate fees.
A. Account or wetland bank account. "Account" or "wetland bank account" means a record of wetland banking debits and credits established by an account holder within the state wetland banking system.
B. Account holder. "Account holder" in the state wetland banking system, is a person, corporation, government agency, or organization that is the owner of credits.
C. Wetland banking credits. "Wetland banking credits" means acres or parts of acres of restored or created wetland or adjacent upland buffer described by type and topographic setting, or areas as described in parts 8420.0540 and 8420.0541, that have been approved for deposit in the wetland bank.
NOTE: Send checks for fees in care of the Wetland Bank Accountant, Minnesota BWSR, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155.
III. Fee Structure and Procedures
A. Account Establishment and Deposit Fees. Account establishment and deposit fees will be assessed at 6.5% of the value of the credits deposited, not to exceed $1,000. The value of the credits will be determined according to Part III.E.1. The account establishment fee will be collected at the time of initial deposit of wetland credits into the bank for the subject accounta. The establishment and deposit fees are limited to $1,000 for each account, i.e., credits deposited into an account after the initial establishment (for instance, if the Technical Evaluation Panel did not certify all of the credits at one time) will be assessed a 6.5% deposit fee until the $1,000 limit is reached. Subsequent deposits into the same account will not be assessed deposit fees unless the restrictive easement for the bank site has to be revised to reflect the additional credits. In that case, deposit fees will be assessed at 6.5% of the value of the credits deposited, not to exceed $1,000.(To avoid these additional fees, banking applicants are encouraged to draft the original restrictive easement to cover all anticipated deposits.)
When the "Application to Deposit Wetland Bank Credits" form has been approved by the appropriate Local Government Unit (LGU), the applicant should submit the form, along with a check (payable to BWSR) for the amount due to the BWSR Wetland Bank Administrator. Applicants may contact the BWSR Wetland Bank Administrator to verify the amount due. Wetland credits deposited into a wetland bank account cannot be used for replacement purposes until the establishment/deposit fees have been paid.
Accounts for which the Wetland Banking Plan Application has received approval by the Local Government Unit after Aug. 1, 2000, and prior to Jan. 1, 2004, are exempt from account establishment fees. However, subsequent deposits after Jan. 1, 2004, will be assessed deposit fees as described above.
B. Account Maintenance Fee. Account maintenance fees will be assessed annually at 1% of the value of the credits in each account, not to exceed $500. The value of the credits will be determined according to Part III.E.1. Account maintenance fees will be assessed at the time of the first transaction (withdrawal, transfer, or deposit) of each year and will be based on the credits in the account at that time. If there are no transactions in an account for the year, then no maintenance fees will be assessed for that year. No transactions will be processed until the current year's maintenance fees have been paid.
C. Account Transfer Fee. Account transfer fees will be assessed at 6.5% of the value of the credits transferred, not to exceed $1,000. The value of the credits will be determined according to Part III.E.1 or Part III.E.2. Transfer fees are assessed when credits are transferred by any means (e.g., sale, gift, donation, exchange) from one account holder to a new owner, but not used for replacement purpose. To transfer credits, an "Application to Transfer" form, along with a check (payable to BWSR) for the applicable transfer fee should be submitted to the BWSR Wetland Bank Administrator. The Wetland Bank Administrator may be contacted to verify the amount of the transfer fee. BWSR will not transfer the credits until the fee is paid.
D. Withdrawal Fee. Withdrawal fees are incurred when credits are withdrawn for the purposes of wetland replacement and will be assessed at 6.5% of the value of the credits withdrawn. The value of the credits will be determined according to Part III.E.1 or Part III.E.2. The applicable withdrawal fee should be submitted to the BWSR Wetland Bank Administrator along with the Application for Withdrawal of Wetland Credits form that has been approved by the appropriate regulatory authority(ies). Credits will not be withdrawn from the bank until the applicable withdrawal fees have been paid. After receiving payment, BWSR will deduct the appropriate credits from the subject account and notify the account holder, the user of the credits and the approving regulatory authority(ies).
E. Value of Credits. The value of wetland credits for the purpose of assessing fees will be determined as follows:
1. Credit Value ($/acre) = Average agricultural ("tillable") land value ($/acre) in the county where the bank is located (as reported from the Minnesota Dept. Revenue) x Wetland Credit Value Coefficient (currently 6.0).
In order to accurately value land in those counties with little tillable land (defined as those where the ratio of tillable acres to rural/vacant acres is less than 20%), the value for Rural/Vacant land will be used in place of Tillable value. In the metro counties Ramsey and Hennepin, the value is the average of the before and after deferral green acres values.
The Wetland Credit Value Coefficient reflects the value added to the land by the wetland credits. It is determined by BWSR based on the average ratio of credit sale price to county land value for credits that BWSR has purchased from existing bank accounts statewide. This coefficient will be updated by BWSR Board Policy to reflect recent wetland credit market values. For the purposes of the formula above, the most recent agricultural land values available from the Minnesota Department of Revenue will be used. Increases are limited to 75% of the previous value.
2. For determining withdrawal or transfer fees, account holders may present other evidence to BWSR demonstrating the value of credits, such as actual sales values. When using actual sales data to determine credit values, account holders will be required to submit to BWSR actual bills of sale as documentation.
a. The exception to this is if the credits are deposited in a new account by transfer from an existing account. In that case, account transfer fees (see Part III.C) will be assessed.
b. In cases of account transfers, the new account holder will not be charged account establishment or deposit fees.