Tax-Forfeited Lands

Posted By: Auditor,

Otter Tail County periodically holds sales of tax-forfeited lands. Properties are sold at public sale to the highest bidder by the County Auditor. Any lands not sold at the public sale can be purchased over the counter at the Auditor’s Office.

Last Sale Date: 10-6-2015     Next Sale Date: To be determined.

Download Entire Notice of Tax Forfeited Lands 10-6-2015 (Revised 06-18-2020)


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the parcels of land described in the List of Tax-Forfeited Land for Public Sale which is contained herein shall be sold to the highest bidder at public sale. The sale will be governed by the provisions of Minnesota Statute 282 and by the resolution of the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners authorizing such sale. The resolution reads as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of County Commissioners of Otter Tail County, Minnesota, that all parcels of tax-forfeited land included on the attached list have been classified as non-conservation land; that the basic sale price of each parcel included on the attached list be approved and authorization for a public and /or private sale of this land be granted, pursuant to the Minnesota Statute 282; that the sale will be held at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 16, 2015 by the Otter Tail County Auditor-Treasurer in the Otter Tail County Commissioners’/Otter Tail Lake Rooms in the Otter Tail County Government Service Center, for not less than the basic sale price; and that all sales shall be for full cash payment per the terms as set forth in the Notice of Public Sale of Tax-Forfeited Lands.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the conditions and terms of the public sale shall be as described in the list contained here-in and approved by the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners:


Public Sales: Basic Sale Price
All parcels are offered at public auction and sold to the highest bidder on a cash basis. The minimum bid acceptable is the basic sale price, which is shown on the List of Tax-Forfeited Land for Public Sale. The basic sale price is equal to the appraised value, plus the timber value assigned by the Department of Natural Resources, plus any extra charges for special assessments levied after forfeiture and for hazardous waste control.
Extra Fees and Costs: In Addition to the Basic Sale Price
In addition to the purchase price of the land the following extra fees and costs are due at the time of sale:
1. A 3% surcharge for the state assurance account.
2. A state deed fee of $25.00.
3. A deed recording fee of $46.00
4. A state deed tax equal to the greater of $1.65 or 0.33% of the total basic sale price.
5. If applicable, a well certificate fee of $50.00
Payment Terms: All parcels shall be paid on a cash basis and in full at the time of sale. (Note – Payment must be in U.S. Dollars, by cash, by money order, or draft from a U.S. Bank or Branch. Draft must have bank’s coded transit number along bottom edge.
Special Assessments: Levied Before and After Forfeiture
The balance of any special assessments that were levied before forfeiture and canceled at forfeiture are not included in the basic sale price and may be reassessed by the municipality. These special assessments are shown on the list of tax-forfeited land under the column entitled “Assessments before Forfeiture.”
Any special assessments that were levied after forfeiture and certified to the County Auditor-Treasurer have been added to the appraised value and must be paid by the purchaser as part of the basic sale price. These special assessments are shown on the list of tax-forfeited land with a special line entitled “Specials after Forfeiture.”
Conditions: Restrictions on the Use of the Properties
Sales are subject to the following restrictions on the use of the properties:
1. existing leases and access agreements,
2. easements obtained by a governmental subdivision or state agency for a public purpose,
3. existing road and/or railroad easements/right-of-ways,
4. subdivision controls ordinance, building codes and zoning laws (if the property is located within the Otter Tail County shoreland area its development/use will be subject to the provisions of the Otter Tail County Shoreland Management Ordinance, and the Sanitation Code of Otter Tail County.)
5. all sales are final with no refunds or exchanges allowed,
6. the appraised value does not represent a basis for future taxes,
7. all mineral rights are reserved by the State of Minnesota, and
8. parcels marked with an asterisk (*) will include a restrictive covenant prohibiting enrollment of the parcel in a state funded program providing compensation for conservation of marginal lands or wetlands.


The Minnesota Department of Health strongly recommends that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy and recommends having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by a qualified, certified, or licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator. Every buyer of an interest in residential real property is notified that the property may present exposure to dangerous levels of indoor radon gas that may place the occupants at risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. Radon, a Class A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause overall. The seller of any interest in residential real property is required to provide the buyer with any information on radon test results of the dwelling.
Parcels Not Sold at Public Auction
Any parcel not sold at a public sale may be purchased after the public sale by paying the basic sale price. The basic sale price cannot be changed until the parcel is reappraised, republished, and again offered at a later public and/or private sale.
Title: Proof of Ownership
The buyer will receive a receipt at the time of the sale. Within a reasonable time, after full payment has been received, the County Auditor-Treasurer’s office will request the Department of Revenue issue a state quitclaim deed to the property. A state deed has the characteristics of a patent from the State of Minnesota. Title to the land to be offered for sale is not guaranteed by either Otter Tail County or the State of Minnesota.
The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to restrict or withdraw any parcel listed before or during the sale.

Additional Information about the sale of tax forfeited land in Otter Tail County can be obtained by clicking the notice link (above) and at the office of the County Auditor-Treasurer located at the Otter Tail County Government Services Center.

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