Tax-forfeited land reviews


Summary of statutory authority

The table below is a summary of statutory authority for the DNR's review and approval of proposed tax-forfeited land sales. (This table is also available in PDF format This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it..)

The purpose of this table is to provide a quick guide to the issues reviewed by the DNR. However, this is a complex area of law, and the statutes should be reviewed for a complete understanding of authority as to the DNR's review of proposed sales of tax-forfeited lands managed by the counties.

Caution: This table is for quick reference purposes only. This table does not cover all issues related to sale of DNR-administered tax-forfeited lands held free from the trust in favor of the taxing districts or consolidated conservation lands.

Feature for review:

Withdrawn from sale or commissioner's approval required:

Standing Timber
Timber means trees that will produce forest products of value, including, but not limited to, logs, bolts, pulpwood, posts, poles, cordwood, lumber and decorative material.

Commissioner must approve appraised value of timber and sale of land. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.01, subd. 3 This link leads to an external site.]

Bordering on or adjacent to meandered lakes and other public waters and watercourses.

Waterfront of 150 feet or less requires commissioner's approval. Waterfront of more than 150 feet is withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.018, subd. 1 This link leads to an external site.]

State Park
Within boundary of state park.

Withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 85.012, subd. 1 This link leads to an external site.]

Nonforested Marginal Land and Wetland
Lands and wetlands identified by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) or federal agencies, often using Army Corps of Engineers manual.

Withdrawn from sale unless notice of existence of nonforested marginal land or wetland is provided to prospective purchasers and deed contains restrictive covenant that precludes enrollment in state conservation program (unless platted subdivision or conveyance is to correct errors in legal descriptions). [Minn. Stat., secs. 103F.535 This link leads to an external site. and 282.018, subd. 2 This link leads to an external site.]

Memorial Forest
Tax-forfeited land designated by county board resolution as most suitable for forest purposes and managed on forestry principles.

Withdrawn from sale, unless county board finds it more suitable for other purposes and withdraws lands from memorial forest and commissioner approves sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 459.06, subd. 3 This link leads to an external site.]

Mineral Lease or Mining Unit
Lands or stockpiled materials are subject to state mineral lease or lands or stockpiled materials have been designated in mining unit status by the commissioner for offering for mineral leasing purposes.

Withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.01, subd. 8 This link leads to an external site.]

Lands chiefly valuable for commercial quantities of peat.

Withdrawn from sale. [Minn. Stat., sec. 92.461 This link leads to an external site., and Opinion of Attorney General, Feb. 9, 1968]

Land Classified as Conservation
County board has classified tax forfeited land as conservation instead of non-conservation.

Withdrawn from sale, except commissioner may approve sale of conservation lands designated by county board as primarily suitable for a specific conservation purpose or for auxiliary forest purposes. [Minn. Stat., sec. 282.011, subd. 1 This link leads to an external site.]

Red Lake Game Preserve and Other Consolidated Conservation Areas
Tax forfeited lands located within Red Lake Game Preserve area and other consolidated conservation areas that forfeited on or after May 3, 1984.

Subject to above requirements

Trust Fund Lands and Other DNR Administered-Lands
(other than tax forfeited land held free from the trust in favor of the taxing districts) - lands were erroneously taxed and erroneously forfeited or correctly taxed (e.g., certificate of sale issued) but erroneously forfeited (e.g., land sold but purchaser still paying for land and patent not issued).

Commissioner objects to forfeiture of land and objects to sale of land by counties. [Minn. Stat., sec. 92.214 This link leads to an external site.]