History

MSRPO roots are planted deep in Minnesota's north woods

MSRPO has roots that stretch way back to 1994 when a cabin owner on Pine Island, Lake Vermilion became alarmed at rapidly rising property tax bills.

Other property owners on the island pulled together, and began to reach out to other seasonal property owners around the state. MSRPO was born.

Writer Jeff Forester, whose family owned a place on Lake Vermilion, was living in northern Minnesota writing a book about the history of the area, a book that would be published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2005, Forest for the Trees: How Humans Shaped the Northwoods. Forester realized that Minnesota's ad valorum, or "at value" property tax had made sustainable forestry on private lands nearly impossible, and that the property tax, which views land only as a commodity to be taxed at its perceived "highest and best use," was rapidly causing the destruction of Minnesota's shoreline and fragmentation of its forest lands. Forester joined the MSRPO Board in 1994.

Flash forward to today

From these humble beginnings the MSRPO has built the most complete database of Minnesota seasonal property owners in existence (over 120,000 property owners, segmented by legislative voting district.)

MSRPO uses the strength of its membership to ensure that seasonal property owners' interests are well represented at the Minnesota legislature.