The land-into-trust site, also known as Camp 4, in Santa Barbara County, California. Photo: Chumash Facts
Law | Politics | Trust

Bill in California offers tax relief for tribal lands going into trust

Controversy is stirring over a bill in California that offers tax relief for tribes whose land-into-trust applications have been approved but have not yet been finalized.

Land placed in trust is not subject to local and state taxation. But appeals in the courts and through the administrative process can tie up tribes for years.

That's the situation facing the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Although the BIA approved the tribe's application for 1,400 acres back in 2014, opponents have prevented the acquisition from being finalized.

AB 953, if it becomes law, would allow the tribe to start seeking an exemption while the appeals proceed. The bill already passed the Assembly but critics are upset about the tribe's support for it, The Santa Barbara Independent reported.

“This bill is pretty unusual,” a member of Santa Ynez Valley Concerned Citizens, one of the groups fighting the tribe's application, told the paper. “It creates a standard that someone gets significant tax relief based on applying for something.”

The tribe plans to use the site, known locally as Camp 4, for housing and other purposes.

Read More on the Story:
Chumash Seek Property Tax Relief (The Santa Barbara Independent 6/8)

Related Stories:
Chumash Tribe celebrates approval of land-into-trust application (February 1, 2017)