Minnesota Chapter

The Minnesota chapter of Common Ground USA was formed in 2011, following a national conference that was sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School that focused on land value tax shifts, rent-sharing land trusts and other commons-based approaches to public policy.

The chapter’s efforts are currently focused on legislation to allow Minnesota cities to create Land Value Tax Districts and on exploring the creation of a Municipal Land Trust in the City of Saint Paul.

To join our chapter and/or help with the above efforts, please email us at minnesotacommonground@gmail.com.

An MLT for Saint Paul?

The Chapter commissioned a study, “Municipal Land Trusts – A Feasibility Study for Adoption by The City of Saint Paul” by Anindya Kumar Panda of the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs. The study’s report was released on August 30, 2019.


The report concluded that the “concept of MLT holds promise for the City of Saint Paul”, though it cautioned that “a lot is yet to be done.”

An MLT would not compete with a CLT but would complement the efforts of a CLT. CLTs only manage to provide a small fraction of the affordable housing in United States, and it is no different in Saint Paul. Little analysis has been done to assess the reasons for limited success of the CLT model. Lack of commitments to restricted equity form of ownership, combined with inadequate funding and staff, may account for the modest success of the CLT model to date(Ingram & Hong, 2007).
  However, the proposed MLT could help mitigate the problems of inadequate funding and staff, when controlled directly by the City. The sustainability section of this report does show that collecting land rent would be sufficient for the MLT to recover its cost, while extending a land rent credit to each and every member of the MLT.