Opinion | Trust

Opinion: Some 'facts' about Chumash Tribe land-into-trust bid

"Many years ago the Chumash tribal government made a “proposal” similar to the one they have now presented to the county this time to try to get the county’s support to bring the 1,400 acres of rural ranch property into federal Indian trust status.

The primary reason the tribe wants to bring this land into trust is to evade paying all the local property taxes, bed taxes and other assessments needed by the State, County and local government to fund the many public services and demands and infrastructure the tribe, it’s casino, hotel and other businesses place on the rest of the non-Indian taxpayers who have to foot the bill.

In addition, by placing land into trust that allows the tribe and any businesses on tribal trust lands to operate without complying with the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of laws enacted to protect workers, public customers in those businesses, and the nearby community, including zoning and planning laws enacted to protect the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of the rest of the non-Indian community living in the county and in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The Santa Barbara News Press ran a large article the day after this earlier “proposal” was presented to the county, and it described the tribe’s proposal in a banner headline (front page, above the fold) as a “historic agreement.” What the newspaper didn’t know was the proposal was only presented to get the county not to appeal the proposed transfer of the 6.9 acres of land in Santa Ynez into trust. The following day, the tribal chairman sent a letter to the tribal business committee telling them not to worry; he, the tribal chairman, did not agree to anything and never waived any immunity from laws or lawsuits."

Get the Story:
Jim Marino: ‘Cooperative agreement:’ An introduction (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 9/1)

Also Today:
Town Hall meeting draws hundreds (The Santa Ynez Valley Journal 9/1)

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