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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

273.19 Lessees and equitable owners.

Subdivision 1. Except as provided in subdivision 3 or 4, tax-exempt property held under a lease for a term of at least one year, and not taxable under section 272.01, subdivision 2, or under a contract for the purchase thereof, shall be considered, for all purposes of taxation, as the property of the person holding it. In this subdivision, "tax-exempt property" means property owned by the United States, the state, a school, or any religious, scientific, or benevolent society or institution, incorporated or unincorporated, or any corporation whose property is not taxed in the same manner as other property. This subdivision does not apply to property exempt from taxation under section 272.01, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clauses (2), (3), and (4).

Subd. 1a. For purposes of this section, a lease includes any agreement permitting a nonexempt person or entity to use the property, regardless of whether the agreement is characterized as a lease. A lease has a "term of at least one year" if the term is for a period of less than one year and the lease permits the parties to renew the lease without requiring that similar terms for leasing the property will be offered to other applicants or bidders through a competitive bidding or other form of offer to potential lessees or users.

Subd. 2. The provisions of subdivision 1 shall not apply to any property owned by a seaway port authority exempt from taxation under the provisions of section 272.01, subdivision 3.

Subd. 3. The net tax capacity of property held under a lease for a term of at least one year which (i) is located within a federal reservation; (ii) has been conveyed to the state of Minnesota by the federal government; and (iii) had been occupied and used by a branch of the armed services of the United States, shall be no greater than the value added to the property by improvements to the property made by the lessee.

Subd. 4. Property held under a lease for a term of at least one year which is owned by the United States and located within a national park shall be exempt, provided the property was acquired by the United States by condemnation or purchased by the United States under threat of condemnation, and within a reasonable time leased back for noncommercial residential purposes to the person owning the property at the time of acquisition by the United States. If property exempt under this subdivision is subsequently leased or subleased for a term of at least one year to another person, it shall no longer qualify for the exemption provided in this subdivision and shall be placed on the assessment rolls as provided in section 272.02, subdivision 38, and taxed pursuant to subdivision 1 of this section.

The value of improvements made to property otherwise exempt pursuant to this subdivision which are owned by the lessee or to which the lessee has salvage rights shall be taxable to the lessee pursuant to subdivision 1.

Subd. 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 4, real and personal property used or to be used primarily for the production of hydroelectric or hydromechanical power and leased from the state or a local governmental unit pursuant to section 103G.535 may be exempt from taxation or payments in lieu of taxes.

The exemption from taxation or payments in lieu of taxes provided by this subdivision does not apply to hydroelectric or hydromechanical facilities operated at any time between January 1, 1980 and January 1, 1984.

HIST: (1996) RL s 813; Ex1959 c 1 s 2; 1967 c 865 s 2; 1978 c 756 s 1,2; 1980 c 607 art 2 s 16; 1Sp1981 c 1 art 2 s 13,14; 1984 c 502 art 3 s 15; 1985 c 300 s 9; 1987 c 268 art 8 s 4-7; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; 1989 c 239 s 2; 1989 c 329 art 13 s 20; 1990 c 391 art 8 s 34