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Minnesota House Passes Tax Forfeiture Settlement Legislation

Thursday, May 9, 2024


House DFL Majority 

Minnesota House of Representatives  


CONTACT: Marlee Schlegel 

(651) 296-9873 


May 9, 2024 

Minnesota House Passes Tax Forfeiture Settlement Legislation

SAINT PAUL, MINN. -- Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 5246, a bill making funds available for settled litigation related to retained surplus proceeds from tax-forfeited lands sold by counties. The bill is authored by Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL – Aurora). The bill passed unanimously on a vote of 127-0. 

“This legislation creates a framework to responsibly settle damages with those impacted by a prior law that was deemed unconstitutional. The settlement is agreed to by all parties involved and resolving this issue has been a monumental task,” Rep. Lislegard said. “I want to particularly recognize the work of Julie Marinucci, St. Louis County’s Land and Minerals Director, who was instrumental in providing knowledge and information throughout this process, and St. Louis County Commissioner Paul McDonald, who was part of this process from the beginning. My colleague Rep. Sandra Feist has also demonstrated great leadership and understanding of a complex issue, and her work has helped us address this matter in line with the court’s decision.” 

Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tyler v. Hennepin County that when the counties kept any excess proceeds from the sale of tax forfeited land beyond the total delinquent property taxes, costs, and fees owed, this was a violation of the Takings Clause. HF5246 funds the settlement agreement approved by the Attorney General’s Office and counties statewide in response to lawsuits filed on behalf of those harmed by Minnesota’s property tax forfeiture laws. The bill also requires counties participating in the settlement to make a good-faith effort to sell any remaining properties that were forfeited prior to 2024.  

The bill was presented on the Floor by co-author Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL – New Brighton). 

“This legislation funding the settlement agreement represents a critical step forward in moving past Minnesota’s unconstitutional tax forfeiture laws enacted in 1935,” said Rep. Feist. “Through the bill we passed today, the state and counties have agreed on how to financially address the harm caused by our laws. The mechanisms created will ensure that property owners receive compensation, that the state and counties work together to cover the associated cost, and that there is transparency to the claims process. I look forward to presenting the companion bill to replace the existing law with a more just system.” 

The bill now heads to the Senate where it awaits Floor action.  


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