Forfeited Land General Information

The following are facts you should know before buying forfeited land.

Public Sales

All tax forfeited lands are appraised and offered at a public sale and sold to the highest bidder. The minimum bid acceptable is the appraised value.

Private Sales

Parcels not sold at the public sale may be purchased at private sale by anyone offering to pay the appraised value thereof. Prices cannot be changed unless a parcel is re-appraised, advertised and again offered at the public sale.


Goodhue County is not responsible for locating boundaries on tax forfeited lands. The descriptions used are tax descriptions and have not been surveyed. Surveys are buyer’s expense. There is no guaranteed access to the property. There is no guarantee of use.


Total purchase price and all other costs must be paid at the time of sale. All sales are final and no provision is made for refund or exchange.


The purchaser will receive a receipt at the time of purchase and will receive a deed from the State of Minnesota through the Commissioner of Revenue at a later date. Purchaser must pay applicable deed fees. The laws provide that this conveyance shall have the force and effect of a patent from the State. There will be no abstract issued. Abstracts can be obtained from the Goodhue County Abstract Company at buyer’s expense.


State Deed: A $25 fee must be paid at the time of the sale to cover the cost of the state deed. MSA 282.014

Deed Tax

Deed tax must be paid at the time of sale. The amount of the tax is based on the amount of the sale, at the rate of .0033 times the purchase price, with a minimum of $1.65.


The County Auditor / Treasurer shall collect in full an amount equal to 3% of the total sale price of the land, which amount is in addition to the total sale price of the land. The purpose of the 3% is to help pay claims ordered against the state by the district courts.


Full payment for recording in the County Recorder’s Office before the state deed can be given to the purchaser. The present charge for recording is $46.

Well Certificate

If the property contains a well, a well certificate must be prepared, for which there is a $50 recording fee.


Sales are subject to existing leases, if any; to building restrictions appearing on record at the time of forfeiture; to easements obtained by any governmental subdivision or agency thereof for any public purpose; to all applicable laws and ordinances; and to the condition that the appraised value does not represent a basis for future taxes.

Local improvements constructed but not yet assessed must be assumed by the purchaser.

Reassessment of cancelled improvement assessments may be made in accordance with Minnesota Statutes reading, in part, as follows:

MS 429.071, Subd. 4 Reassessment, Tax Forfeited Land

When a parcel of tax forfeited land is returned to private ownership and the parcel is benefited by an improvement for which special assessments were cancelled because of the forfeiture, the municipality that made the improvement may, upon notice and hearing as provided for the original assessment, make a reassessment or a new assessment as to the parcel in an amount equal to the amount unpaid on the original assessment.

MS 435.23 Assessment or Reassessment Of Tax Forfeited Lands Returned To Private Ownership

Any municipality, political subdivision, or other public authority may make a reassessment or new assessment pursuant to Section 1, notwithstanding that the original assessment may have been made pursuant to other general law or a special law.

MS 444.076 Fees and Charges For Tax Forfeited Lands Returned To Private Ownership

When a tax forfeited land is returned to private ownership and the land is benefited by a public improvement for which special assessments were cancelled because of the forfeiture, the municipality or other public authority that made the improvement may impose fees or charges for the use or availability of the improvement or for connections therewith in an amount not to exceed the amount remaining unpaid on the cancelled assessment. The municipality may make the fees or charges a charge against the owner, lessee, occupant, or all of them and may certify unpaid fees or charges to the County Auditor / Treasurer with taxes against the property for collection as other taxes are collected.

Marginal Lands & Wetlands Program

Lands not located in a platted subdivision will include, on the state deed, a restrictive covenant prohibiting enrollment of the parcel in a state funded program providing compensation for conservation of marginal lands or wetlands.

Forfeited land becomes taxable for the following year when purchased by December 31.