Bill would limit DNR payment for land acquisition

A bill limiting the amount the DNR can pay to purchase land could inhibit future acquisitions for parks and trails to 20 percent above the estimated market value has been introduced in the Minnesota House (HF 2228). The bill is authored by Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis), Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Paul Torkelson (R-Nelson Township).

The bill raises the cap percentage (currently it’s 10 percent over appraised value) and makes the county assessor’s estimated market value the number to use.

The bill offers an exception, if the DNR commissioner “determines that the acquisition is a high priority because the land is adjacent to other public land, would conserve a high degree of biological diversity or is otherwise a high priority for the department.” In those cases, the DNR commissioner would have to document the reasons for paying more than 20 percent above the county assessor’s estimated market value for the property.

The bill has been referred to the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee. There currently is no Senate bill.