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Bill placing restrictions on foreign land ownership hits Reynolds’ desk

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(The Center Square) – The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that places greater restrictions on foreign land ownership.

Senate File 2204 would give the attorney general subpoena powers to investigate land ownership. The bill also increases penalties for foreign entities that don’t file with the secretary of state or falsify a report.

The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 95-0 a week after the Senate passed it unanimously.

It’s the first bill passed by the Legislature this session.

“American farmland should remain in American hands, and Iowa’s agricultural dominance must be protected,” Reynolds said. “Other states look to Iowa as a model, but foreign adversaries are adapting, and our laws must too. I’m proud that the first bill sent to my desk this legislative session had bipartisan support to protect our most valuable resource: our land. Iowans across all 99 counties have expressed the need for tougher foreign ownership laws that strengthen enforcement, increase reporting, and enhance transparency. And today, we can say we’ve delivered.”

The latest Foreign Holdings of U.S. Agricultural Land report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that 1.6% of Iowa’s farmland is owned by a foreign entity.

Canada owns the most significant chunk of Iowa land with 198,667 acres, followed by “all others” with 181,258, according to the report that includes data through Dec. 31, 2022.

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