Forget to pay your property tax bill? Ignore this obligation and you could lose your land. In some cases, Minnesota’s Department of Revenue can seize property to cover delinquent tax bills.

When is property deemed “delinquent” by the government? The Minnesota Department of Revenue considers a failure to pay a property tax bill “late” if not paid the year it is due. This results in a penalty. At this point, your land is not at risk.

The agency does not consider a real property tax bill “delinquent” until the January following the year the real property tax bill was due. Once the taxpayer’s bill enters January, an interest begins to apply to the late tax bill. At this time, the county auditor will file the delinquent tax with the court administrator. The agency will send a notification with a payment deadline to the taxpayer. Once this deadline passes, the piece of property in question automatically forfeits to the state.

What amount must a taxpayer pay to pay off the delinquent tax amount? The taxpayer must pay the tax bill along with any penalties, interest due, special assessments or county costs. Those who cannot pay the bill outright may be eligible for other options.

But the government does not confiscate property often, right? Unfortunately, such seizures are not uncommon. A recent report notes St. Louis County is set to auction off approximately 100 properties this month.

The government’s ability to confiscate a taxpayer’s property is supposed to be a last resort to compensate for lost revenue due to the delinquent tax bill.