Tax-Forfeited Property

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Tax-forfeited parcels are properties for which delinquent property taxes were not paid, and title to the land and buildings was forfeited to the State of Minnesota.

Not all forfeited parcels are offered for sale. Certain types of land remain vested to the State of Minnesota. Each parcel is reviewed by various governmental agencies for approval to be sold. The approved parcels must be offered at a public auction; the opening bid amount at auction is based on the appraised value. Any parcel that does not sell at auction may then be purchased “over the counter” at the County Auditor’s Office for the parcel’s most recent appraisal amount.

The County has a land sale approximately every two years; frequency is determined by the number of saleable parcels. Please email our staff if you have questions regarding forfeited properties or would like to be added to our mailing list. As land sales are scheduled, complete information will be posted on this site and published in the newspaper. 

Before Purchasing Property

It is strongly recommended that you thoroughly research any tax-forfeited parcels before making a purchase. Become knowledgeable about the property you are purchasing, and make sure that it can be used in the manner you intend.

Prior to the purchase of property, please be aware of the following:

  • Properties are sold to the highest bidder.
  • Properties are sold as is
  • All property sales are final.
  • Purchased properties are subject to existing leases.
  • Existing easements remain with the property, such as: existing road and/or railroad easements or right-of-ways; easements obtained by a governmental entity for a public purpose; and any other permanent easement of record.
  • Properties may not be buildable, meaning that properties may not conform to zoning and building ordinances for placement of buildings, or there may be environmental issues that make the property unsuitable for building.
  • If the property is within a development or part of an association, the recorded regulations will apply.
  • If the property is Torrens (Registered Property), there may be additional fees to update the certificate prior to any subsequent transfer of title.

Payments & Final Purchase Amounts

All property purchases are to be paid in full on the day of sale. Acceptable forms of payment are cash or check (including cashier’s checks). Credit cards are not accepted, nor is there any County-sponsored financing of property purchases.

The final purchase amount includes:

  • Accepted bid (sale) amount
  • Assurance Fee (currently 3% of sale; this goes to the State)
  • State Deed Fee (currently $25)
  • State Deed Tax (sale amount times 33)
  • Deed Recording Fee (currently $46; Torrens parcels may require additional recording fees)

More Information

State law regarding delinquent real estate taxes and sales of tax-forfeited property can be referenced in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 279 - 282; you may also wish to consider consulting your own attorney.