Van Hollen says foreign land ownership OK

Attorney general issued opinion Friday
Van Hollen says foreign land ownership OK

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says Wisconsin state law permits foreign ownership of land in some cases.

The Republican Van Hollen issued his opinion on Friday in response to a request from state lawmakers nearly a year ago. Van Hollen leaves office in a little over two weeks.

The opinion says state law only prohibits foreign ownership of more than 640 acres of agricultural and forestry land. He notes that the law was changed in 1983 to allow for foreign ownership of land for “almost every conceivable business activity.”

Gov. Scott Walker in 2013 proposed changing the law limiting foreign land ownership, but the Legislature rejected them. The changes were opposed by the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Farm Bureau.

Walker’s spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.