Tax-Forfeited Public Sales

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Most tax-forfeited parcels are appraised and offered at public sales and sold to the highest bidder. The minimum bid accepted is the appraised value.

It is highly recommended that you thoroughly research any tax-forfeited parcels before purchasing. Most liens and mortgages, except federal and state tax liens, are canceled at the time of forfeiture, and it is the responsibility of the purchaser to verify this information. For specific legal issues, consult an attorney.

More information on how land becomes tax-forfeited

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Public sales

What properties are for sale to the public?

A complete list of properties to be listed for sale will be published in the official newspaper for the county, some local newspapers and the link to ePropertyPlus. 

How do I receive information on the properties?

You may subscribe to receive free email notifications to have sale information automatically emailed to you.

Subscribe to email notices about upcoming auctions

What is the interest rate charged on Ramsey County contracts?

The interest rate for current year contracts is 10 percent, but the rate is subject to change in subsequent years. The rate may vary between 10 – 14 percent. The interest rate is set by the State Legislature each year.

When would I get my first real estate tax statement?

If property is purchased in the current year, taxes will become due and payable the following year and each year thereafter. For example, if a property is purchased in 2022, taxes will be due and payable in 2023.

How do I receive title to the property?

After the contract is paid in full a State Deed will be issued by the Minnesota Department of Revenue and recorded in the Ramsey County Recorder’s Office. You may wish to consult with an attorney in order to clear title.

Is there a redemption period allowed for prior owners?

A prior owner can apply to repurchase a property up to 6 months from the date of forfeiture, or until the property has been sold, depending on its classification.

Can anyone purchase properties at a public sale?

Ramsey County has a prohibited bidder policy. The following individuals (either personally or as an agent or attorney for any other person) are prohibited from bidding on and purchasing a parcel of tax-forfeited land unless the parcel was owned by the individual before forfeiture: county auditor, county treasurer, county attorney, court administrator of the district court, county assessor, supervisor of assessments, deputy or clerk or an employee of such officer, a commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or an assistant to such commissioner (“Prohibited Purchaser”). A person prohibited from purchasing property under this section must not directly or indirectly have another person purchase it on their behalf for their own benefit or gain.

Prohibited Purchasers also include any person or entity, or entity controlled by such person, that:

  1. is an owner or taxpayer of real property situated in Ramsey County that has delinquent property taxes, or
  2. has held a rental license in the county and the license has been revoked within the last five years; or
  3. currently has a contract for purchase of tax-forfeited lands for a structure that does not meet the requirements of a code compliance inspection report or home inspection report issued within the past year and has not filed a certificate of code compliance with the Productive Properties section or successfully finalized and closed-out all permits through the city in which the parcel is located; or
  4. currently has a contract for purchase of tax-forfeited land in default for any one of the following reasons or combination of reasons:
  • Failure to pay a payment including interest when due;
  • Failure to pay property taxes before they become delinquent;
  • Failure to insure a property containing a structure during the term of the contract;
  • Failure to provide a certificate of code compliance for a substandard structure, as       required by the city in which the property is located within the required timeframe;
  • Failure to provide a current certificate of occupancy, prior to tenancy, if the   property is used as rental property.
  • Allowing a lien to attach to the property; or had a Contract for purchase or repurchase of tax-forfeited land canceled within the past 5 years.

Can I purchase a property at public sale if I am the former owner?

Yes, but if you are a former owner of a property being sold, you must pay the minimum sale price or the amount of delinquency, whichever is more, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 282.01, Subd. 7.

Can Ramsey County employees bid on parcels at public sale?

Some employees can and some cannot. The law is very specific in naming the employees prohibited from purchasing property at auction.

Minnesota Statutes, section 282.016, paragraph (a) states that a county auditor, county treasurer, county administrator of the district court, county assessor, supervisor of assessments, or deputy or clerk or an employee of such officer, a commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or an assistant to such commissioner, must not become a purchaser, either personally or as agent or attorney for another person, of the properties offered for sale under the provisions of this chapter in the county for which the person performs duties. A person prohibited from purchasing property under this section must not directly or indirectly have another person purchase it on behalf of the prohibited purchaser for the prohibited purchaser's benefit or gain.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), such officer, deputy, clerk, or employee or commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or assistant to such commissioner may (1) purchase lands owned by that official at the time the state became the absolute owner thereof or (2) bid upon and purchase forfeited property offered for sale under the alternate sale procedure described in section 282.01, subd. 7a.

What happens to parcels not sold at public sale?

Properties not sold at public may be available for purchase the next business day in the Productive Properties office on a first-come, first-served basis. All parcels will be sold at their established appraised value. For a list of properties, you can purchase today, view the parcels available for sale list.

How do I pay for a parcel at auction?

A successful bidder may write a personal check in addition to the earnest money already deposited for any remaining balance due at the time of sale. Any changes regarding terms of payment for a property are outlined in the published Terms of Sale for each auction.

Can I bid absentee?

No. Absentee bidding is not allowed.


Parcels available for immediate purchase

Parcels not sold at a public sale may be offered for sale the day following the public sale, at the discretion of the Productive Properties, and purchased by eligible purchasers to pay the appraised price plus taxes and fees. Prohibited purchaser and former owner policies still apply. The price cannot be changed unless a parcel is re-appraised, advertised and again offered at public sale.

List of parcels available for immediate purchase

Past sales results

The last auction was held on Feb. 7, 2020.

2019 Public Auction

June 7, 2019 results (PDF)

Sale to adjacent landowner

Productive Properties has an inventory of sliver/splinter parcels that the county auditor is authorized to sell at an adjacent owner sale for adjacent landowners only, if certain requirements are met.

These properties are usually small, non-buildable lots of odd-shape or size. Often times an adjoining owner is unaware that a tax-forfeited parcel is adjacent or near their property.

The goal is to offer these properties to the adjacent landowner and return them to private ownership.


The following conditions must exist or be met in order to hold an adjacent owner auction sale to adjacent landowners. The county auditor must:

  • Determine that the parcel of tax-forfeited land cannot be improved because it does not comply with local ordinances regarding minimum area, shape, frontage or access. This means that the owner would not be allowed to construct a building on the parcel.
    • Example #1: City ordinance requires a minimum frontage between the street and a house before a house can be built on any lot. The parcel cannot meet the minimum frontage requirement.
    • Example #2: A small parcel of land is landlocked; there is no road to it or any way of getting a road to it.
    • In both examples, only owners of land next to the parcel would be interested in adding it to their property.
  • Determine that the highest and best use of the land can be achieved by adding it to an adjoining parcel.
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