Senator Hauschild Bill Establishing Tax-Forfeited Lands Settlement Worth $109 Million Passes Senate

Legislation is largest finance bill of 2024 Session and is the state response to Supreme Court’s Tyler vs. Hennepin Court Decision

[SAINT PAUL, MN] – Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2023 decision in Tyler v. Hennepin, counties in Minnesota are no longer able to retain the surplus value that may have gained by selling tax-forfeited lands. Now, thanks to Friday’s passage of legislation carried by Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown), counties can access a new statewide account to provide just compensation for landowners who were previously denied these funds when their land was sold.

“The unanimous Supreme Court decision in Tyler v. Hennepin makes it clear that Minnesotans have a constitutional right to the surplus value of their land, even if it’s tax-forfeited,” said Sen. Hauschild. “This bill provides the legislative fix necessary to guarantee landowners get what they are owed while also ensuring the cost to our counties does not get passed down in severe property tax increases on local residents.” 

In Senator Hauschild’s District, the surplus on forfeiture land is estimated at nearly $31 million, including: 

  • St. Louis County – $22,991,843
  • Itasca County – $4,968,353 
  • Lake County – $1,683,149 
  • Koochiching County – $1,071,431 
  • Cook County – $225,584 

The Tyler decision was followed by a number of class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of landowners who received no such compensation after their forfeited lands were sold. The settlement account in this bill would provide compensation for these claims, as the counties would otherwise be on the hook for paying out millions of dollars to complainants. The new statewide account provides $109 million that is available until June 30, 2026, to counties with certain tax-forfeited lands that agree to certain terms. 

Photo Attached: Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) presenting in committee.

Senator Grant Hauschild represents Senate District 3 – the Arrowhead, Iron Range, and Northland. He is vice chair of the Labor Committee, and serves on the Education Policy Committee, Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee, and Taxes Committee.

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