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Minnesota Land Ownership Laws

    Landowner Rights

    • Section 84.0274 of the Minnesota statutes is the "Landowners' Bill of Rights." Under this provision, landowners are entitled to know when a purchaser changes his planned use of land in question and the right to fair remittance for said land, subject to a fair state or independent appraisal. This payment, per the law, can occur "in a lump sum or in up to four annual installments"--and the landowner may remain in possession of the property until he receives full payment.

      In the event it seeks to take possession of private land, the state of Minnesota accepts certain responsibilities. Namely, that negotiations will be fair and open, with no mention of price until after a fair appraisal as specified in the "Owner's Rights" subheading. Additionally, the acquisition must be quick, with the total period not to exceed "two months if no survey is required or for nine months if a survey is required."

    Deed Tax

    • The law sets forth different deed tax requirements when an owner transfers her ownership, depending on whether or not she receives financial remittance for the transfer. Under the law, any transfer that does not involve spouses, co-owners, trusts, estates or an entity owned by a sole owner is considered a sale and shall be taxed as such.

      Designated transfers and sales with totals less than $500 incur a tax of $1.65. When sales amounts exceed $500, the tax obligation is ".0033 of the net consideration" (as of August, 2010). According to Section 287.22 of the statutes, mortgaged sales are exempt from this tax.

    Eminent Domain

    • Eminent domain refers to the right federal and state constitutions give respective governments to seize a landowner's land for use of the public. Section 508.73 of the law places certain responsibilities on Minnesota in the event of land reclamation, including that the state must "file for registration a certified copy of a final certificate or a certified copy of a court order transferring [the land's] title," providing the owner with the purpose for which the land will be used. The law further mandates that the state cover all fees and charges incurred during the process.

      The court will additionally issue a memorial, which takes note of the landowner at the time of seizure. If, for whatever reason, the state no longer needs the lands in question at any point in the future, it may "order the entry of a new certificate of title to the person entitled in the memorial."

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