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Estimated Land Values Introduction

Follow the simple three-step plan to create and analyze your own Minnesota farm real estate sales database. When you're ready to go, click Generate Report.

You’ll need to choose the geographic area you want covered, which data elements you want us to provide, and how you want us to display the data. You do this by first choosing your Boundaries (county, watershed…), then your Location (specific county and township/city), and finally your Attributes (year, summary level…).

Where appropriate, use Continue to move back to the main page and view your updated choices. To move back to the main page without making your changes take effect, press Cancel.

In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature created several new classifications for agricultural and timber land in the state. On Minnesota Land Economics, the reclassifications are handled by treating post-2008 land valuation data in a separate section. If you select "Recent Years" on the attributes page, you will be presented with the new valuation classifications.

These changes resulted in valuation data that is not directly comparable to that reported in previous years. For details, see this Department of Revenue publication.

You have access here to annual county assessor estimated market values for nearly every Minnesota city and township since 1993. Included are value estimates (for January 2 of the indicated year) for total farmland, tillable farmland, timberland, and Green Acres and Agricultural Preserves properties. (The latter two are farmland preservation programs with special property tax treatment for participants. Agricultural Preserves enrollment is possible only in the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area or, under a different set of rules, in a handful of non-metropolitan counties. Green Acres enrollment is open statewide.)

Details on Minnesota's property tax system are available from the Department of Revenue. A description of the main variables on the MLE site is located further down this page.

Initial data for the current year are available by July. Final estimates are posted here in December of that year. So, for example, we posted provisional year 2012 estimates in July 2012 and we put up the the final, official numbers in December 2012.

These data are drawn from the annual Department of Revenue "Mini Abstracts," from 1993 onward. The dataset is a summary of county assessor records for individual properties. In the Mini Abstract, these property records (estimated values, acres, etc.) are aggregated to unique taxing jurisdictions, such as that portion of city A in school district B. For the Minnesota Land Economics web site, we further aggregate the records to the township or city level. Some jurisdictions lack some data items in some (or all) years.

For details on how we assigned cities and townships to watersheds, click here.

Field names:

Year: Year for which market values are estimated.

Farm land: All Agricultural 2a land, including Green Acres, minus the house/garage/first acre and the building site. This was called "deeded" land prior to 2009.

Rural land: All class 2b land, a category created in 2009. It contains what formerly was classed as 2b timberland (which we now also report separately), plus several other non-agricultural categories. It does not include the new 2c managed forest category

Tillable Land: Agricultural land that can cultivated for row crops or grains. From 2009 onward, this is Agriculture 2a Tillable.

Timber land: Classes 2b Timber/woods and 2c Managed Forest. Prior to 2008, this was simply 2b forested land. In 2008, the single number included a then-new 2c Managed Forest category, which was largely a reclassification of certain previously-2b Timber lands. For 2009 onward, we report the two classifications separately.

Green Acres: A farmland preservation preferential tax program. Green Acres parcels are taxed at their use (agriculture) value rather than their market value. Both values are reported here. Starting in 2009, there are two sub-classes of Green Acres land, each receiving separate tax treatment. Also starting in 2009, we report Green Acres qualifying acres, not the acres in the whole eligible parcel, as had been reported in prior years.

Agricultural Preserves: Farmland preservation programs open only to landowners in the seven-county Twin City Metropolitan Area (TCMA) or (under different rules) in a handful of non-metropolitan counties. In the TCMA, these properties are taxed at their use (agriculture) value rather than their market value. In the other counties, enrolled lands are taxed at their market value. The lower value is reported here for the TCMA counties. From 2009 onward, we distinguish 2a Agricultural Preserves from 2b Agricultural Preserves.

Farmland Value: The sum of Agriculture 2a land estimated values (including Green Acres high values but not including values for buildings and other "improvements")--all divided by Agriculture 2a acres. Prior to 2009, this is deeded agricultural land value divided by deeded agricultural acres.

Timberland Value: Timber land estimated values divided by timber land acres. Reported in separate 2b and 2c categories starting in 2009.

Tillable Value: Total tillable value divided by tillable acres.

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