Minnesota is generally not in the business of buying and selling land. However, on occasion, it becomes necessary for the state to foreclose on land when owners do not pay property taxes or other lawful tax debts owed to the government. When this happens, Minnesota state law requires that the county where the tax-forfeited land is located, put the property up for sale through a public auction. In Minnesota, bidding on and purchasing tax-forfeited land is a simple and transparent process.
Contact the Land Commissioner’s Office in the county where you would like to purchase land. Ask when upcoming tax-forfeited land auctions will occur. Request that the Land Commissioner’s Office place you on its mailing list for updates about land available for sale at tax auctions.
Contact the Division of Property Records and Taxation in the county where the land is located. Request a Sealed Bid Form and ask that the department mail it to you.
Complete the Sealed Bid Form. Enter the parcel number, property ID number and appraised value from the sale list received from the Land Commissioner’s Office. Enter your bid amount and indicate whether you want to make installment payments. Depending on the value of the land, most counties in Minnesota allow you to make annual payments over four or five years for tax-forfeited land. If you choose to make installment payments, the Division of Property Records and Taxation charges interest on the purchase at a rate determined by the Land Commissioner’s Office.
Enter your name, address and telephone number on the Sealed Bid Form. Sign the form. Place the Sealed Bid Form in an envelope and mark it “Land Sale Bid.” Return the form or mail it to the Division of Property Records and Taxation.
Go to the County Board room of the county where the public auction occurs at the date and time scheduled for the event. Observe the opening of the sealed bids to determine if yours was the winning offer for the parcel. Alternatively, wait for the county board to contact you by mail if your bid was accepted.
Remit a check or money order for the full bid amount to the Division of Property and Taxation in the county where the land is located. Alternatively, make the minimum down payment required for the purchase and sign the contract for installment payments.
Wait approximately 30 days to receive the title to the land parcel after you make full payment to the Division of Property and Taxation.
- Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes: 2010 Minnesota Statutes Chapter 282 Tax-Forfeited Land Sales
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Land Sale
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Instructions for Over-the-Counter Land Purchase and Terms and Conditions of Sale
- Crow Wing County Minnesota: Tax-Forfeited Land Sale Q/A
- Anoka County Minnesota: FAQa About Tax-Forfeited Land Sales
- Carlton County Minnesota: Tax-Forfeited Landsales