Tax-forfeited land returned to owners after tax payments

Washington County land formerly in tax forfeiture is back in the hands of private property owners after three parcels were returned to previous owners and one parcel was turned over to a townhome association.

The county Board of Commissioners approved the transactions Tuesday. State law requires counties to manage all tax-forfeited parcels and review all repurchase applications.

Three parcels were returned to previous owners, once delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, fees and any management costs incurred in forfeiture were paid. Land that was returned to previous owners included a parcel in Oakdale, a parcel in Forest Lake and a parcel in Cottage Grove.

In addition, common area within a town home development was conveyed to the Mississippi Dunes Townhomes Association in Cottage Grove. This is part of the common area surrounding the individual town home units, and does not have a unit built on it. State allows for the conveyance of tax-forfeited land to an association of a common interest community if the County Board recommends it, and the association certifies to the board that prior to forfeiture the association was entitled to the parcel under a written agreement, but the conveyance failed to occur prior to forfeiture.

The law also specifies no compensation or consideration is required for the conveyance.

The value of the common area land is actually included in the value of the taxable parcels within the development by the assessor’s office when the plat is created.