HEARTH Act Approval of Pueblo of Laguna Leasing Code, 26491-26492 [2020-09386]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 86 / Monday, May 4, 2020 / Notices terminating the lease or rescinding approval of the Tribal regulations and reassuming lease approval responsibilities. Moreover, the Secretary continues to review, approve, and monitor individual Indian land leases and other types of leases not covered under the Tribal regulations according to the Part 162 regulations. Accordingly, the Federal and Tribal interests weigh heavily in favor of preemption of State and local taxes on lease-related activities and interests, regardless of whether the lease is governed by Tribal leasing regulations or Part 162. Improvements, activities, and leasehold or possessory interests may be subject to taxation by the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Shingle Springs Rancheria (Verona Tract), California. Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2020–09385 Filed 5–1–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [201A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900] HEARTH Act Approval of Pueblo of Laguna Leasing Code Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: On April 13, 2020, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved the Pueblo of Laguna’s (Tribe) Leasing Code under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act). With this approval, the Tribe is authorized to enter into residential leases without further BIA approval. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, MS–4642–MIB, 1001 Indian School Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87020, at (505) 563–3132. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Summary of the HEARTH Act The HEARTH Act makes a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to Tribes, by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955, 25 U.S.C. 415. The HEARTH Act authorizes Tribes to negotiate and enter into agricultural and business leases of Tribal trust lands with a primary term of 25 years, and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each, without the approval VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary). The HEARTH Act also authorizes Tribes to enter into leases for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes for a primary term of up to 75 years without the approval of the Secretary. Participating Tribes develop Tribal leasing regulations, including an environmental review process, and then must obtain the Secretary’s approval of those regulations prior to entering into leases. The HEARTH Act requires the Secretary to approve Tribal regulations if the Tribal regulations are consistent with the Department of the Interior’s (Department) leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162 and provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the HEARTH Act. This notice announces that the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, has approved the Tribal regulations for the Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico. II. Federal Preemption of State and Local Taxes The Department’s regulations governing the surface leasing of trust and restricted Indian lands specify that, subject to applicable Federal law, permanent improvements on leased land, leasehold or possessory interests, and activities under the lease are not subject to State and local taxation and may be subject to taxation by the Indian Tribe with jurisdiction. See 25 CFR 162.017. As explained further in the preamble to the final regulations, the Federal government has a strong interest in promoting economic development, self-determination, and Tribal sovereignty. 77 FR 72,440, 72,447–48 (December 5, 2012). The principles supporting the Federal preemption of State law in the field of Indian leasing and the taxation of lease-related interests and activities applies with equal force to leases entered into under Tribal leasing regulations approved by the Federal government pursuant to the HEARTH Act. Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108, preempts State and local taxation of permanent improvements on trust land. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Thurston County, 724 F.3d 1153, 1157 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Jones, 411 U.S. 145 (1973)). Similarly, section 5108 preempts State taxation of rent payments by a lessee for leased trust lands, because ‘‘tax on the payment of rent is indistinguishable from an impermissible tax on the land.’’ See Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Stranburg, 799 F.3d 1324, 1331, n.8 (11th Cir. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26491 2015). In addition, as explained in the preamble to the revised leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162, Federal courts have applied a balancing test to determine whether State and local taxation of non-Indians on the reservation is preempted. White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136, 143 (1980). The Bracker balancing test, which is conducted against a backdrop of ‘‘traditional notions of Indian self-government,’’ requires a particularized examination of the relevant State, Federal, and Tribal interests. We hereby adopt the Bracker analysis from the preamble to the surface leasing regulations, 77 FR at 72,447–48, as supplemented by the analysis below. The strong Federal and Tribal interests against State and local taxation of improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased under the Department’s leasing regulations apply equally to improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased pursuant to Tribal leasing regulations approved under the HEARTH Act. Congress’s overarching intent was to ‘‘allow Tribes to exercise greater control over their own land, support self-determination, and eliminate bureaucratic delays that stand in the way of homeownership and economic development in Tribal communities.’’ 158 Cong. Rec. H. 2682 (May 15, 2012). The HEARTH Act was intended to afford Tribes ‘‘flexibility to adapt lease terms to suit [their] business and cultural needs’’ and to ‘‘enable [Tribes] to approve leases quickly and efficiently.’’ H. Rep. 112–427, at 6 (2012). Assessment of State and local taxes would obstruct these express Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development and self-determination, and also threaten substantial Tribal interests in effective Tribal government, economic self-sufficiency, and territorial autonomy. See Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 572 U.S. 782, 810 (2014) (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (determining that ‘‘[a] key goal of the Federal Government is to render Tribes more self-sufficient, and better positioned to fund their own sovereign functions, rather than relying on Federal funding’’). The additional costs of State and local taxation have a chilling effect on potential lessees, as well as on a Tribe that, as a result, might refrain from exercising its own sovereign right to impose a Tribal tax to support its infrastructure needs. See id. at 810–811 (finding that State and local taxes greatly discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources because the imposition of double E:\FR\FM\04MYN1.SGM 04MYN1 26492 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 86 / Monday, May 4, 2020 / Notices taxation would impede Tribal economic growth). Similar to BIA’s surface leasing regulations, Tribal regulations under the HEARTH Act pervasively cover all aspects of leasing. See 25 U.S.C. 415(h)(3)(B)(i) (requiring Tribal regulations be consistent with BIA surface leasing regulations). Furthermore, the Federal government remains involved in the Tribal land leasing process by approving the Tribal leasing regulations in the first instance and providing technical assistance, upon request by a Tribe, for the development of an environmental review process. The Secretary also retains authority to take any necessary actions to remedy violations of a lease or of the Tribal regulations, including terminating the lease or rescinding approval of the Tribal regulations and reassuming lease approval responsibilities. Moreover, the Secretary continues to review, approve, and monitor individual Indian land leases and other types of leases not covered under the Tribal regulations according to the Part 162 regulations. Accordingly, the Federal and Tribal interests weigh heavily in favor of preemption of State and local taxes on lease-related activities and interests, regardless of whether the lease is governed by Tribal leasing regulations or Part 162. Improvements, activities, and leasehold or possessory interests may be subject to taxation by the Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico. Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2020–09386 Filed 5–1–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [201D0102DR/DS5A300000/ DR.5A311.IA000118] National Tribal Broadband Grant; Extension of Application Deadline AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. Notice. ACTION: The Bureau of Indian Affairs published a document in the Federal Register of February 10, 2020, that announced a grant funding opportunity for Tribes to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for deployment or expansion of high-speed internet (broadband) transmitted, variously, through digital subscriber line (DSL), cable modem, fiber, wireless, satellite jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:03 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 and broadband over power lines (BPL). This notice extends the application deadline. DATES: Applications and mandatory attachments will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, June 15, 2020. Applications and mandatory attachments received after this time and date stamp will not be considered by the Awarding Official. ADDRESSES: Applicants must submit a completed Application for Federal Assistance SF–424 and the Project Narrative Attachment form in a single email to IEEDBroadbandGrants@ bia.gov, Attention: Ms. Jo Ann Metcalfe, Certified Grant Specialist, Bureau of Indian Affairs. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James R. West, National Tribal Broadband Grant (NTBG) Manager, Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Room 6049–B, 12220 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191; telephone: (202) 595–4766; email: jamesr.west@bia.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 10, 2020, the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED), Office of the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, published a solicitation for proposals from Indian Tribes, as defined at 25 U.S.C. 5304(e), for grant funding to hire consultants to perform feasibility studies for deployment or expansion of broadband transmitted, variously, through DSL, cable modem, fiber, wireless, satellite, and BPL (85 FR 7580). This notice announced an application deadline of May 8, 2020. The deadline has been extended from May 8, 2020, to June 15, 2020 due to the COVI–19 crisis. National Tribal Broadband Grants (NTBG) may be used to fund an assessment of the current broadband services, if any, that are available to an applicant’s community; an engineering assessment of new or expanded broadband services; an estimate of the cost of building or expanding a broadband network; a determination of the transmission medium(s) that will be employed; identification of potential funding and/or financing for the network; and consideration of financial and practical risks associated with developing a broadband network. The purpose of the NTBG is to improve the quality of life, spur economic development and commercial activity, create opportunities for selfemployment, enhance educational resources and remote learning opportunities, and meet emergency and law enforcement needs by bringing broadband services to Native American communities that lack them. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Feasibility studies funded through NTBG will assist Tribes to make informed decisions regarding deployment or expansion of broadband in their communities. Award Ceiling: 50,000. Award Floor: 40,000. CFDA Numbers: 15.032. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No. Number of Awards: 25–30. Category: Communications. Authority: This is a discretionary grant program authorized under the Snyder Act (25 U.S.C.13) and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (Pub. L. 116–94). The Snyder Act authorizes the BIA to expend such moneys as Congress may appropriate for the benefit, care, and assistance of Indians for the purposes listed in the Act. Broadband deployment or expansion facilitates two of the purposes listed in the Snyder Act: ‘‘General support and civilization, including education’’ and ‘‘industrial assistance and advancement.’’ The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 authorizes the BIA to ‘‘carry out the operation of Indian programs by direct expenditure, contracts, cooperative agreements, compacts, and grants, either directly or in cooperation with States and other organizations.’’ Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2020–09388 Filed 5–1–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337–TA–1197] Certain Portable Gaming Console Systems With Attachable Handheld Controllers and Components Thereof II; Institution of Investigation U.S. International Trade Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on March 27, 2020, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, on behalf of Gamevice, Inc. of Simi Valley, California. Letters supplementing the complaint were filed on April 7, 14 and 15, 2020. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain portable gaming console systems with attachable handheld controllers SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04MYN1.SGM 04MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 86 (Monday, May 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26491-26492]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09386]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

[201A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900]


HEARTH Act Approval of Pueblo of Laguna Leasing Code

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On April 13, 2020, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved 
the Pueblo of Laguna's (Tribe) Leasing Code under the Helping Expedite 
and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act). 
With this approval, the Tribe is authorized to enter into residential 
leases without further BIA approval.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, MS-4642-MIB, 1001 
Indian School Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87020, at (505) 563-
3132.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Summary of the HEARTH Act

    The HEARTH Act makes a voluntary, alternative land leasing process 
available to Tribes, by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 
1955, 25 U.S.C. 415. The HEARTH Act authorizes Tribes to negotiate and 
enter into agricultural and business leases of Tribal trust lands with 
a primary term of 25 years, and up to two renewal terms of 25 years 
each, without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary). The HEARTH Act also authorizes Tribes to enter into leases 
for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes for a 
primary term of up to 75 years without the approval of the Secretary. 
Participating Tribes develop Tribal leasing regulations, including an 
environmental review process, and then must obtain the Secretary's 
approval of those regulations prior to entering into leases. The HEARTH 
Act requires the Secretary to approve Tribal regulations if the Tribal 
regulations are consistent with the Department of the Interior's 
(Department) leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162 and provide for an 
environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the 
HEARTH Act. This notice announces that the Secretary, through the 
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, has approved the Tribal 
regulations for the Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico.

II. Federal Preemption of State and Local Taxes

    The Department's regulations governing the surface leasing of trust 
and restricted Indian lands specify that, subject to applicable Federal 
law, permanent improvements on leased land, leasehold or possessory 
interests, and activities under the lease are not subject to State and 
local taxation and may be subject to taxation by the Indian Tribe with 
jurisdiction. See 25 CFR 162.017. As explained further in the preamble 
to the final regulations, the Federal government has a strong interest 
in promoting economic development, self-determination, and Tribal 
sovereignty. 77 FR 72,440, 72,447-48 (December 5, 2012). The principles 
supporting the Federal preemption of State law in the field of Indian 
leasing and the taxation of lease-related interests and activities 
applies with equal force to leases entered into under Tribal leasing 
regulations approved by the Federal government pursuant to the HEARTH 
Act.
    Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108, 
preempts State and local taxation of permanent improvements on trust 
land. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Thurston 
County, 724 F.3d 1153, 1157 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Mescalero Apache 
Tribe v. Jones, 411 U.S. 145 (1973)). Similarly, section 5108 preempts 
State taxation of rent payments by a lessee for leased trust lands, 
because ``tax on the payment of rent is indistinguishable from an 
impermissible tax on the land.'' See Seminole Tribe of Florida v. 
Stranburg, 799 F.3d 1324, 1331, n.8 (11th Cir. 2015). In addition, as 
explained in the preamble to the revised leasing regulations at 25 CFR 
part 162, Federal courts have applied a balancing test to determine 
whether State and local taxation of non-Indians on the reservation is 
preempted. White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136, 143 
(1980). The Bracker balancing test, which is conducted against a 
backdrop of ``traditional notions of Indian self-government,'' requires 
a particularized examination of the relevant State, Federal, and Tribal 
interests. We hereby adopt the Bracker analysis from the preamble to 
the surface leasing regulations, 77 FR at 72,447-48, as supplemented by 
the analysis below.
    The strong Federal and Tribal interests against State and local 
taxation of improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased 
under the Department's leasing regulations apply equally to 
improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased pursuant to 
Tribal leasing regulations approved under the HEARTH Act. Congress's 
overarching intent was to ``allow Tribes to exercise greater control 
over their own land, support self-determination, and eliminate 
bureaucratic delays that stand in the way of homeownership and economic 
development in Tribal communities.'' 158 Cong. Rec. H. 2682 (May 15, 
2012). The HEARTH Act was intended to afford Tribes ``flexibility to 
adapt lease terms to suit [their] business and cultural needs'' and to 
``enable [Tribes] to approve leases quickly and efficiently.'' H. Rep. 
112-427, at 6 (2012).
    Assessment of State and local taxes would obstruct these express 
Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development and self-
determination, and also threaten substantial Tribal interests in 
effective Tribal government, economic self-sufficiency, and territorial 
autonomy. See Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 572 U.S. 782, 810 
(2014) (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (determining that ``[a] key goal of 
the Federal Government is to render Tribes more self-sufficient, and 
better positioned to fund their own sovereign functions, rather than 
relying on Federal funding''). The additional costs of State and local 
taxation have a chilling effect on potential lessees, as well as on a 
Tribe that, as a result, might refrain from exercising its own 
sovereign right to impose a Tribal tax to support its infrastructure 
needs. See id. at 810-811 (finding that State and local taxes greatly 
discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources 
because the imposition of double

[[Page 26492]]

taxation would impede Tribal economic growth).
    Similar to BIA's surface leasing regulations, Tribal regulations 
under the HEARTH Act pervasively cover all aspects of leasing. See 25 
U.S.C. 415(h)(3)(B)(i) (requiring Tribal regulations be consistent with 
BIA surface leasing regulations). Furthermore, the Federal government 
remains involved in the Tribal land leasing process by approving the 
Tribal leasing regulations in the first instance and providing 
technical assistance, upon request by a Tribe, for the development of 
an environmental review process. The Secretary also retains authority 
to take any necessary actions to remedy violations of a lease or of the 
Tribal regulations, including terminating the lease or rescinding 
approval of the Tribal regulations and reassuming lease approval 
responsibilities. Moreover, the Secretary continues to review, approve, 
and monitor individual Indian land leases and other types of leases not 
covered under the Tribal regulations according to the Part 162 
regulations.
    Accordingly, the Federal and Tribal interests weigh heavily in 
favor of preemption of State and local taxes on lease-related 
activities and interests, regardless of whether the lease is governed 
by Tribal leasing regulations or Part 162. Improvements, activities, 
and leasehold or possessory interests may be subject to taxation by the 
Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico.

Tara Sweeney,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2020-09386 Filed 5-1-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4337-15-P