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Cass County Board: New maps show conflict in land ownership

REMER--As mapping capabilities have improved so, too, have questions about land ownership. The U.S. Forest Service recently laid their Chippewa National Forest ownership map over the county's website map of ownerships and discovered the county ma...

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Photo Illustration

REMER-As mapping capabilities have improved so, too, have questions about land ownership.

The U.S. Forest Service recently laid their Chippewa National Forest ownership map over the county's website map of ownerships and discovered the county maps show a government lot in unorganized township had a conflict.

County tax records showed the government lot was forfeited for non-payment of taxes in 1945, so it is listed as a county tax-forfeited lot on the county map.

However, the U.S. Forest Service possesses a 1938 trustee deed to the same government lot, which takes precedence. It became part of the Chippewa National Forest in 1938 and should not have been subject to property taxes.

In fact, there actually were two government lots deeded to the Forest Service on Feb. 9, 1938, but an erroneous 1945 county tax forfeiture on one of them was removed in 1969.

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For some reason, this second government lot was overlooked in 1969, so continued on county records until now as a lot First National Bank and Trust Co. forfeited in 1945 for non-payment of taxes.

Nobody actually owed taxes on it after 1938 when the U.S. government obtained its deed to the property.

Tuesday night during the regular county board meeting, the commissioners voted to cancel the 1945 forfeiture and to recognize the U.S. Forest Service's rightful ownership since 1938.

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