parcel, known as the Sunland Hospital in Tallahassee, was sold
for commercial development.
The State of Florida owns and oversees management of
approximately 3.8 million acres of uplands (which includes 500,000
acres of conservation easements). Most of the land is actively used
by state agencies for recreation or conservation purposes, which are
protected by the Florida Constitution in perpetuity.
Murphy Act Lands
A small percentage of lands are
available as surplus, most of which are Murphy Act Lands, small
parcels of land scattered across Florida. These surplus parcels
consist of small parcels that the state acquired as a result of the
The Murphy Act provided for statutory forfeiture of lands for
nonpayment of taxes. Tax certificates unredeemed as of June 9, 1939,
were automatically converted to fee simple title in the name of the
state. Most of the Murphy Act parcels have already been sold or are
managed for conservation or other uses.
When a property is no longer needed by the state, it is first
offered to state universities, Florida college system institutions and state agencies for leasing, and then to the local government where the property is located
for sale. If
the local government declines to purchase the property, then it is
offered to the public for sale or bid.
Division of State Lands staff is
constantly working to evaluate potential surplus property. New
tracking and mapping programs will help expedite and improve the
process. This will make small parcels of land, which are scattered
throughout the state, available to counties and the general public.
When sold to private entities, these parcels are put on county tax
rolls, generating tax dollars for local governments.