Two-thirds of Mille Lacs’ tax-forfeit parcels sold at county courthouse auction July 17

Sixty-one of the 91 tax forfeit lots approved for auction in Mille Lacs County sold during the July 17 sale in the Mille Lacs County Courthouse in Milaca.
The tax forfeit list had 122 parcels, but only 91 were approved for sale, and one of the 91 was pulled by sale time because the city of Princeton is interested in purchasing the parcel.
The 61 lots sold for a total of $156,250, plus the required fees, according to the Mille Lacs Auditor Treasurer’s office, whose report on the auction was given to the county board at its Aug. 6 board meeting. Out of the gross revenue from the sale, the county has to deduct close to $2,023 for paper, envelopes, postage, labels and publishing. The estimated deductions also do not include staff time or the supplies for the packets sent to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Another $16,367 was deducted for special assessments to cities.
The estimated net proceeds total close to $137,860, and the county is to receive 40 percent. School districts receive 40 percent, and the cities and townships in Mille Lacs divide up 20 percent.
Since selling the 61 lots at the auction and pulling one of the lots from the sale, the county sold three lots over the counter, leaving 26 tax forfeit parcels unsold as of Aug. 7. Those can be purchased at the auditor-treasurer counter for the price listed, which means a person would not have to go into a bidding process to acquire them.
The tax forfeit lot sales were up at this year’s auction in Sherburne County compared to last year, but this year’s auction of tax forfeit parcels in Mille Lacs was reportedly not greater than last year.
Fifty-seven individuals registered on auction day this year in Mille Lacs. The auditor-treasurer’s office considered that low compared to what staff there had anticipated based on the phone calls and email inquiries.
The 31 parcels that were not approved for auction consist of:
• 10 parcels with less than 150 feet of water, which were flagged because the DNR needed more information, such as wetland detail, and wanted a current aerial map showing lot dimensions.
• Nine parcels that are good for adjoining owners only, with the land locked by adjoining property or is just a small sliver that is useless, according to the auditor-treasurer’s office.
• One that is in the city of Princeton that the city is doing an environmental study on and will decide if it wants to purchase it.
• 11 other parcels that were forfeited in October 2012, missing the required initial review process, so they will be reviewed for the next tax forfeit auction.