HEARTH Act Approval of Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana Residential Leasing Act, 38919-38920 [2020-13885]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 125 / Monday, June 29, 2020 / Notices Estimated Number of Responses: 4,000 per annum. Frequency of Response: Approx. 181. Average Hours per Response: 20 seconds. Total Estimated Burden: 22 hours. B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. (5) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. submitted compacts with the State of Oklahoma governing certain forms of Class III gaming. This notice announces that the Comanche Nation and State of Oklahoma Gaming Compact and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and State of Oklahoma Gaming Compact are taking effect. DATES: The compacts take effect June 29, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Paula L. Hart, Director, Office of Indian Gaming, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary—Policy and Economic Development, Washington, DC 20240, paula.hart@bia.gov, (202) 219–4066. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Public Law 100– 497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., the Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register notice of approved Tribal-State compacts for the purpose of engaging in Class III gaming activities on Indian lands. As required by 25 CFR 293.4, all compacts are subject to review and approval by the Secretary. The Secretary took no action on the Comanche Nation and State of Oklahoma Gaming Compact and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and State of Oklahoma Gaming Compact within 45 days of their submission. Therefore, the Compacts are considered to have been approved, but only to the extent they are consistent with IGRA. See 25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(8)(C). C. Authority Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. [FR Doc. 2020–13886 Filed 6–26–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P Dated: June 19, 2020. Anna Guido, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [201A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010. 999900] [FR Doc. 2020–13967 Filed 6–26–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P HEARTH Act Approval of Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana Residential Leasing Act DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: [201A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A 501010.999900253G] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts Taking Effect in the State of Oklahoma Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: On April 23, 2020, the Comanche Nation and the OtoeMissouria Tribe of Indians, respectively, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:25 Jun 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 On June 12, 2020, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved the Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation (Tribe) leasing regulations 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. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38919 Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, sharelene.roundface@bia.gov, (505) 563–3132. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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 Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana. 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 72440, 72447–48 (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 E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 38920 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 125 / Monday, June 29, 2020 / Notices 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 72447–48, 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:25 Jun 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 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 810–11 (finding that State and local taxes greatly discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources because the imposition of double 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 Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of Montana. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. Parcel 2 An easement for road and utility purposes over the Southerly 15 feet of the Northerly 312.74 feet measured at right angles of said Southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter of said Section. [FR Doc. 2020–13885 Filed 6–26–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Bureau of Indian Affairs [190A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A51010. 999900] Land Acquisitions; San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs has made a final determination to acquire 29 acres, more or less into trust for the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California on May 15, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharlene M. Round Face, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, 1849 C Street NW, MS–4642– MIB, Washington, DC 20240, telephone (202) 208–3615. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in the exercise of authority delegated by the Secretary of the Interior to the Assistant Secretary— Indian Affairs by part 209 of the Departmental Manual, and is published to comply with the requirement of 25 CFR 151.12(c)(2)(ii) that notice of the decision to acquire land in trust be promptly published in the Federal Register. On llll, the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs issued a decision to accept land in trust for the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California under the authority of Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 984). SUMMARY: San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California, County of San Diego, California Legal Description Containing 29 Acres, More or Less Parcel 1 The Southeast quarter of the Northwest quarter of Section 22, Township 11 South, Range 1 West, San Bernardino Base and Meridian, in the County of San Diego, State of California, according to the United States Government Survey. Except the Northerly 312.74 feet measured at right angles thereof. E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 125 (Monday, June 29, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38919-38920]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-13885]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

[201A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900]


HEARTH Act Approval of Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort 
Belknap Reservation of Montana Residential Leasing Act

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: On June 12, 2020, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved 
the Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation 
(Tribe) leasing regulations 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, 
[email protected], (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 Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap 
Reservation of Montana.

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 72440, 72447-48 (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

[[Page 38920]]

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 72447-48, 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 810-11 (finding that State and local taxes greatly 
discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources 
because the imposition of double 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 
Fort Belknap Indian Community of the Fort Belknap Reservation of 
Montana.

Tara Sweeney,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2020-13885 Filed 6-26-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4337-15-P