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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1990 

                        CHAPTER 586-S.F.No. 2609 
           An act relating to the environment; providing for the 
          management and cleanup of tax-forfeited lands; 
          requiring a report by the pollution control agency; 
          authorizing a levy by Lake county; authorizing a 
          purchase of tax-forfeited land and lease of restricted 
          land in St. Louis county; amending Minnesota Statutes 
          1988, sections 115B.02, subdivision 11; 115B.03, by 
          adding a subdivision; 115C.02, subdivision 8; 
          115C.021, by adding a subdivision; 116.49, by adding a 
          subdivision; 282.08; and 514.671, subdivisions 2 and 
          5; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
          chapter 282. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115B.02, 
subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
     Subd. 11.  [OWNER OF REAL PROPERTY.] "Owner of real 
property" means a person who is in possession of, has the right 
of control, or controls the use of real property, including 
without limitation a person who may be a fee owner, lessee, 
renter, tenant, lessor, contract for deed vendee, licensor, 
licensee, or occupant; provided that:  
     (1) A lessor of real property under a lease which in 
substance is a financing device and is treated as such under the 
United States Internal Revenue Code, common law, or statute, is 
not an owner of the real property; 
     (2) A public utility holding a public utility easement is 
an owner of the real property described in the easement only for 
the purpose of carrying out the specific use for which the 
easement was granted; and 
    (3) Any person holding a remainder or other nonpossessory 
interest or estate in real property is an owner of the real 
property beginning when that person's interest or estate in the 
real property vests in possession or that person obtains the 
unconditioned right to possession, or to control the use of, the 
real property.; and 
    (4) The state or an agency of the state is not an owner of 
real property solely because it holds title to the property in 
trust for taxing districts as a result of forfeiture of title 
for nonpayment of taxes. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115B.03, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [TAX-FORFEITED LAND.] (a) The state, an agency of 
the state, or a political subdivision that may be considered an 
owner of tax-forfeited real property is not a person responsible 
for a release or threatened release from a facility in or on the 
property under subdivision 3, clause (d). 
    (b) The state, an agency of the state, or a political 
subdivision is not an operator of a facility in or on 
tax-forfeited land solely as a result of actions taken to 
manage, sell, or transfer the land in accordance with chapter 
282 and other laws applicable to tax-forfeited land.  
    (c) Nothing in this subdivision relieves the state, a state 
agency, or a political subdivision from liability for causing or 
significantly contributing to the release of a hazardous 
substance from a facility in or on the land. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115C.02, 
subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 8.  [OWNER.] "Owner" means a person who holds title 
to, controls, or possesses an interest in a tank.  "Owner" does 
not include a person who holds an interest in a tank solely for 
financial security, unless through foreclosure or other related 
actions the holder of a security interest has taken possession 
of the tank.  The state or an agency of the state is not an 
owner solely because it holds title to a tank or to real 
property where the tank is located in trust for taxing districts 
as a result of forfeiture of title for nonpayment of taxes. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115C.021, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [TANK LOCATED ON TAX-FORFEITED LAND.] The state, 
an agency of the state, or a political subdivision is not 
responsible for a release from a tank solely as a result of 
actions taken to manage, sell, or transfer tax-forfeited land 
where the tank is located under chapter 282 and other laws 
applicable to tax-forfeited land.  This subdivision does not 
relieve the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision 
from liability for the daily operation of a tank under its 
control or responsibility located on tax-forfeited land. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 116.49, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [TANK LOCATED ON TAX-FORFEITED LAND.] The state, 
an agency of the state, or a political subdivision is not 
considered an owner or operator of a tank solely as a result of 
the forfeiture of title to the tank or real property where the 
tank is located for nonpayment of taxes, or solely as a result 
of actions taken to manage, sell, or transfer tax-forfeited land 
where a tank is located under chapter 282 and other laws 
applicable to tax-forfeited lands.  This subdivision does not 
relieve the state, a state agency, or a political subdivision 
from liability for the daily operation of a tank under its 
control or responsibility located on tax-forfeited land. 
    Sec. 6.  [282.019] [MANAGEMENT AND SALE OF LAND SUBJECT TO 
HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE OR PETROLEUM RELEASE.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] When there is a release or 
threatened release of a hazardous substance, or pollutant or 
contaminant, as defined in section 115B.02, or of petroleum as 
defined in section 115C.02, in or on tax-forfeited land under 
the authority of a county or the commissioner of natural 
resources, the county or commissioner shall comply with the 
provisions of this section. 
    Subd. 2.  [MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS.] When managing the 
land, the county or commissioner of natural resources shall: 
    (1) cooperate with the pollution control agency or the 
commissioner of agriculture, their employees, agents, and 
contractors, so that the response actions considered necessary 
under chapter 115B or 115C may be carried out on the property, 
including granting access to the property and refraining from 
actions that would interfere with investigation of or response 
to the release or threatened release; 
    (2) refrain from actions that would significantly 
contribute to the release or threatened release; and 
    (3) notify the pollution control agency or the commissioner 
of agriculture in advance of actions necessary to manage the 
land which may affect the investigation of or response to the 
release or threatened release, and follow the direction of the 
agency when taking such actions. 
    The requirements of this subdivision also apply to a person 
managing the land under a lease or other similar arrangement 
with the county or commissioner of natural resources. 
    Subd. 3.  [TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP.] (a) Before transfer of 
ownership of the land the county auditor, with the approval of 
the county board, shall: 
    (1) prepare and file the affidavit required under section 
282.0195; 
    (2) set appropriate conditions on the transfer of the land 
to assure that the transferee and the transferee's successors 
will grant access for and cooperate with the completion of a 
response action taken or approved by the pollution control 
agency or the commissioner of agriculture, including 
investigation of the release or threatened release, and 
implementation, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of 
response actions; and 
    (3) set conditions on the use of the land by the transferee 
and the transferee's successors as required by the pollution 
control agency to protect the public health and welfare and the 
environment, assure proper operation, maintenance, and 
monitoring of completed response actions, and comply with 
applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. 
    (b) The county board may set conditions on the transfer in 
addition to those under paragraph (a), including requiring the 
transferee to implement, maintain, operate, or monitor response 
actions approved by the pollution control agency or the 
commissioner of agriculture. 
    Subd. 4.  [ALTERNATE SALE PROCEDURE.] Land described in 
subdivision 1 may be sold by the county auditor under an 
alternative sale procedure under this subdivision if the county 
board determines that an alternate sale procedure will encourage 
the implementation of response actions needed to address a 
release in or on the land and will promote the return of the 
land to the tax rolls.  The sale may be public or nonpublic, by 
sealed bid, negotiation, or other means.  The county auditor 
shall give at least 30 days' written notice of the sale to the 
pollution control agency and owners of land adjoining the land 
to be sold.  Sale may be restricted to the owners of adjoining 
land.  The land may not be sold for less than its appraised 
value unless the purchaser agrees to implement response actions 
approved by the pollution control agency and shows that the 
appraised value does not adequately reflect the estimated 
response action costs.  The notice of sale shall include the 
amount of an environmental lien or estimated expenses for 
cleanup or response actions.  
    Subd. 5.  [STATE CLEANUP EXPENSES RECOVERABLE THROUGH 
ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN OR ADDED TO VALUE AT TIME OF SALE.] (a) Prior 
to or at the time of the forfeiture of any lands, the pollution 
control agency or the commissioner of agriculture may file an 
environmental lien under section 514.672 to recover the expenses 
incurred under section 115B.17 or 115C.03 to respond to a 
release or threatened release on the land.  The agency or the 
commissioner of agriculture shall provide a copy of the lien to 
the county assessor.  A sale of the land after forfeiture does 
not discharge or free it from an environmental lien.  If 
continuation of an environmental lien will prohibit the return 
of the tax-forfeited land to the tax rolls, the county board may 
request release or reduction of the lien from the pollution 
control agency or the commissioner of agriculture as provided 
under section 514.672, subdivision 5. 
    (b) When a parcel of tax-forfeited land has been benefited 
by response actions for which expenses were incurred by the 
pollution control agency or the commissioner of agriculture 
under section 115B.17 or 115C.03, and no environmental lien was 
filed before or at the time of forfeiture, the pollution control 
agency or the commissioner of agriculture shall certify to the 
county the expenses that have been incurred.  Prior to sale of 
the parcel, the county board shall compare the amount of the 
certified expenses with the amount to which the value of the 
parcel has been enhanced by the response actions and may adjust 
the appraisal of the land accordingly, adding the expenses as a 
separate item to the appraisal of the land. 
    Sec. 7.  [282.0195] [AFFIDAVIT AND NOTIFICATION 
REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPERFUND AND STORAGE TANK SITES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SUPERFUND SITES.] The affidavit 
requirement of section 115B.16, subdivision 2, applies to 
tax-forfeited land only if the land has been placed on the 
permanent list of priorities under section 115B.17, subdivision 
13.  The county auditor shall file the affidavit, but no 
liability may be imposed under section 115B.16, subdivision 4, 
paragraph (b), for failing to record the affidavit. 
    Subd. 2.  [STORAGE TANK SITES.] The county auditor shall 
file a notification or affidavit required under section 116.48 
with respect to an underground or aboveground storage tank on 
tax-forfeited land, or the transfer of ownership of 
tax-forfeited land where an underground or aboveground storage 
tank is located or where there is a release from a tank for 
which no corrective action has been taken. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 282.08, is 
amended to read: 
    282.08 [APPORTIONMENT OF PROCEEDS.] 
    The net proceeds from the sale or rental of any parcel of 
forfeited land, or from the sale of any products therefrom, 
shall be apportioned by the county auditor to the taxing 
districts interested therein, as follows: 
    (1) Such portion as may be required to pay any amounts 
included in the appraised value under section 282.01, 
subdivision 3, as representing increased value due to any public 
improvement made after forfeiture of such parcel to the state, 
but not exceeding the amount certified by the clerk of the 
municipality, shall be apportioned to the municipal subdivision 
entitled thereto; 
    (2) Such portion as may be required to pay any amount 
included in the appraised value under section 282.019, 
subdivision 5, representing increased value due to response 
actions taken after forfeiture of such parcel to the state, but 
not exceeding the amount of expenses certified by the pollution 
control agency or the commissioner of agriculture, shall be 
apportioned to the agency or the commissioner of agriculture and 
deposited in the fund from which the expenses were paid; 
    (3) Such portion of the remainder as may be required to 
discharge any special assessment chargeable against such parcel 
for drainage or other purpose whether due or deferred at the 
time of forfeiture, shall be apportioned to the municipal 
subdivision entitled thereto; and 
    (3) (4) Any balance shall be apportioned as follows: 
    (a) Any county board may annually by resolution set aside 
no more than 30 percent of the receipts remaining to be used for 
timber development on tax-forfeited land and dedicated memorial 
forests, to be expended under the supervision of the county 
board.  It shall be expended only on projects approved by the 
commissioner of natural resources. 
    (b) Any county board may annually by resolution set aside 
no more than 20 percent of the receipts remaining to be used for 
the acquisition and maintenance of county parks or recreational 
areas as defined in sections 398.31 to 398.36, to be expended 
under the supervision of the county board. 
    (c) If the board does not avail itself of the authority 
under paragraph (a) or (b) any balance remaining shall be 
apportioned as follows:  county, 40 percent; town or city, 20 
percent; and school district, 40 percent, and if the board 
avails itself of the authority under paragraph (a) or (b) the 
balance remaining shall be apportioned among the county, town or 
city, and school district in the proportions in this paragraph 
above stated, provided, however, that in unorganized territory 
that portion which should have accrued to the township shall be 
administered by the county board of commissioners. 
     Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 514.671, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [AGENCY.] "Agency" means the pollution control 
agency and the commissioner of agriculture. 
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 514.671, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [COMMISSIONER.] "Commissioner" means the 
commissioner of the pollution control agency and the 
commissioner of agriculture. 
     Sec. 11.  [LAKE COUNTY; LEVY SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FOR COST OF 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT.] 
    Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, Lake county 
may levy a special assessment against directly affected tax 
increment benefited property classified under Minnesota 
Statutes, section 273.13, subdivision 24, in Lake county to pay 
for gross costs incurred by the county or authority operating 
the district for preparation of an environmental impact 
statement for a project which has been funded in part by general 
obligation tax increment bonds. 
    Sec. 12.  [REPORT ON TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING ENVIRONMENTALLY 
CONTAMINATED REAL PROPERTY.] 
    The commissioner of the pollution control agency and the 
commissioner of agriculture shall prepare and submit to the 
legislative commission on waste management by January 31, 1991, 
a report on the effect of environmental contamination of real 
property on the purchase, sale, financing, and development of 
the property, and on the status of agency programs and actions 
that provide advice or assistance to persons interested in the 
purchase, sale, financing, or development of such property.  In 
preparing the report, the commissioner shall consult with the 
commissioner of revenue, persons who are representative of 
purchasers, sellers, financial institutions, and developers, 
including public development authorities, who have experience 
with transactions involving environmentally contaminated 
property. 
     Sec. 13.  [ST. LOUIS COUNTY; TAX FORFEITED LAND.] 
    Under the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, sections 
273.124 and 282.241, Marianne Fransen may repurchase for the 
delinquent taxes at the homestead rate, plus penalties and 
interest, which is approximately $12,316, the property as 
described below.  The conveyance shall be in a form approved by 
the attorney general.  
    The property that may be sold is in the city of Duluth at 
1417 Stanford Avenue and described as:  
    Lot 1, Block 3, Highland Hills Subdivision, property 
identification Number 10 2195 290.  
    This property was off the tax rolls in 1974 and put back on 
in 1975 at the nonhomestead rate until 1984.  Marianne Fransen 
has continuously resided at the property since 1974 and the city 
assessor agrees that she meets the definition of a person 
eligible for homestead under section 273.124. 
    Sec. 14.  [ST. LOUIS COUNTY; LEASE OF RESTRICTED LAND.] 
    Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 84.027, 
subdivision 10, or other law to the contrary, the city of Cook 
may lease the St. Louis county highway garage No. 4106 and the 
surrounding premises as described in this section for economic 
development purposes. 
    The property that may be leased for economic development 
purposes is described as: 
    Lots 24 through 32, Block 12, Plat of Ashawa, City of Cook. 
    Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 8, 12, and 13 are effective the day following 
final enactment.  Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 
469.179, section 11 is effective the day following final 
enactment and applies to all tax increment districts, whether 
created before, on, or after August 1, 1979. 
    Presented to the governor April 28, 1990 
    Signed by the governor May 4, 1990, 10:50 p.m.