Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Bill would cap DNR land prices

Published (2/24/2012)
By Bob Geiger
Share on: 



The $14 million price tag for more than 1,800 acres of land on the Mississippi River has drawn the scrutiny of Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls), who wants to cap the price the Department of Natural Resources would pay to acquire land.

Wagenius sponsors HF2228, which would specify how much the DNR can pay. The House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee laid the bill over Feb. 21 for possible inclusion in a committee omnibus bill. There is no Senate companion.

Wagenius objects to the value placed on the land by Crow Wing County. The county assessed the land at between $2,000 and $2,500 per acre, but the state has budgeted to pay $7,045 per acre — about three times the county’s assessed price.

She said legislators “have to address the interests of the taxpayer.”

The bill would cap purchases at the lower of two real estate prices — either 20 percent more than the county assessor’s estimated market value or 10 percent above the land’s appraised value. Exceptions would be allowed for when the commissioner determines the acquisition to be a “high priority,” but documentation would be required.

Bob Meier, assistant commissioner for policy and government relations with the DNR, said the department has “some problems” with the bill.

“In this day and age, we’re only interested in high-priority (land) parcels,” Meier said, adding that current law caps the price at 10 percent above the land’s appraised value.

Meier said justifying payment of higher prices would also create additional paperwork because language in the bill would require the DNR to document why the parcels are high-priority.

Session Weekly More...


Session Weekly Home



Related Stories


Minnesota Index: Enjoying the outdoors
Facts and statistics on state parks and trails
(view full story) Published 4/20/2012

Minnesota Index: Birding
Facts and statistics on birding in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 4/6/2012

A prickly situation
Farmers seek fair fight against noxious weeds
(view full story) Published 3/16/2012

Angling for more participation
DNR looks for ways to get more anglers and hunters into the great outdoors
(view full story) Published 3/2/2012

Meeting halfway
Environment and energy law packs policy changes
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Legacy bill brought back to life
More than $449 million appropriated from voter-approved sales tax increase
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Trees from start to finish
Environment finance bill would close tree nursery
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Legacy spending differences
Conference committee needed to determine parks and trails funding
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Less means more
Some Legacy recipients may see increases despite drop in appropriation percentages
(view full story) Published 4/29/2011

Minnesota Index: Outdoor Heritage Fund
Facts and statistics on the Outdoor Heritage Fund
(view full story) Published 4/29/2011

Environment bill reflects ‘priorities’
House addresses wild rice, harvesting timber and closing of state parks
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Putting a stop to aquatic invasive species
Broader enforcement, stiffer penalties proposed for violators
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Wild rice study proposed
Committee approves policies for wild rice, state parks
(view full story) Published 3/25/2011

Should Minnesotans be hunting for land?
Legislators aim for no-net-loss and no-net-gain targets
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

Minnesota Index: Horticulture and agriculture
Figures and statistics on horticulture and agriculture in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/4/2011

At Issue: Leaving a legacy
Recipients report outcomes of dedicated tax appropriations
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011