BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:
RESOLVED, that the board of commissioners of St. Louis County is hereby requested to withhold from sale for the public interest and to classify as “conservation,” the following parcels from the county auditor’s list of properties which have been declared tax forfeited and title thereto vested in the state:
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution requests the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners to withhold from sale certain tax forfeited parcels in the Annual List of Lands Tax Forfeited in 2003 which have not generated tax revenues for five years. If approved, the effect on the tax base will be that these parcels will not generate property tax revenues in the future.
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners is required by Minnesota State statute to 1.) administer land returned to the state due to nonpayment of taxes; and 2.) seek a classification recommendation from the municipality in which those tax forfeited parcels exist. The municipality may recommend one of the following options:
a.) Non-Conservation - category recommending that the land be sold according to procedure, which usually means auction to the highest bidder.
b.) Conservation - category recommending that the land be retained for an authorized public use.
The Duluth City Planning Commission, at its August 10, 2004, meeting, reviewed a list of recommendations from the Department of Planning and Development for the classification of tax forfeited lands and voted to recommend this list to the City Council and St. Louis County Board of Commissioners. In doing so, they considered the goals of a successful classification process:
a.) To encourage the most economical and efficient use of the property for transportation, roads, water supply, drainage, sanitation, education, and recreation.
b.) To reduce the City’s local government expenses.
c.) To conserve and develop Duluth’s natural resources.
d.) To encourage economic development in suitable areas.
In addition, those parcels located in areas with active where planning groups were reviewed for consistency with those neighborhood plans.