Tax Forfeited Land Sales
State Tax Forfeited land covers approximately 900,000 acres of St. Louis County's 4.5 million acres. Tax forfeited ownership is fragmented; certain areas in the County have large contiguous blocks of tax forfeited land, while other areas have small scattered parcels. Most of this land is retained for forest management, but many of the small non-contiguous parcels and parcels located within the boundaries of cities and towns are offered for sale.
A list of land for potential sale is prepared by the Land & Minerals Department and submitted for County Board approval. State of Minnesota approval is also necessary for certain parcels (on water, mineral potential etc). Once approved, the Land & Minerals Department advertises the sale for two consecutive weeks in the County designated newspaper. Parcels are sold at public auction to the highest bidder. Three public land auctions and several non-public adjoining owner auctions are held each year. Sales can be paid for in full on the day of the sale or the purchaser may enter into a contract with the County for a period not exceeding ten years. The current annual interest rate as determined by statute is 10%. For each parcel sold, a down payment of 10% of the purchase price or $500, whichever is greater. For those parcels for which there is an estimated volume of timber, the appraised value of the timber must be paid in full at the time of purchase, in addition to the down payment.
Tax forfeit land sales are regulated by Minnesota Statute 282.