Reynolds to consider bill imposing limits on foreign land ownership

The Iowa House of Representatives took a significant step on Monday by passing a bill that imposes stricter regulations on the ownership of land by foreign entities.

Senate File 2204 aims to grant the attorney general the authority to issue subpoenas for the purpose of investigating land ownership. Additionally, the bill proposes stricter penalties for foreign entities that fail to file with the secretary of state or provide false information in their reports.

The bill received unanimous approval in the Senate before passing the House of Representatives by a decisive vote of 95-0.

The Legislature has passed its first bill of the session.

Reynolds emphasized the importance of keeping American farmland in the hands of American citizens and the need to safeguard Iowa’s agricultural leadership. She acknowledged that while other states view Iowa as a role model, foreign adversaries are evolving, and their laws must evolve as well. The governor expressed her pride in the bipartisan support received for the first bill of the legislative session, which aims to protect Iowa’s most valuable asset: its land. Reynolds highlighted the widespread demand from Iowans across all 99 counties for stricter regulations on foreign ownership, which would strengthen enforcement, increase reporting, and promote transparency. She concluded by affirming that they have effectively addressed this need.

According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign entities own 1.6% of Iowa’s farmland.

According to the latest report, Canada holds the largest portion of land in Iowa, with 198,667 acres. Following closely behind is the category labeled as “all others,” which accounts for 181,258 acres. This data is accurate up until December 31, 2022.

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