It was reported today by USA Today that Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (CCST) in South Dakota has settled with the IRS and has obtained a loan to buy back 11.1 square miles of land the IRS seized and auctioned off last December when the CCST failed to pay about $3 million in employment taxes, penalties and interest.
It was confirmed last December that the sale of the land would not be finalized until a trial was held after the tribe’s attorneys filed a formal notice to prevent the completion of the sales until the trial was completed. The trial, that was scheduled for 5/4, has been canceled because a settlement has been reached.
When the land was auctioned last December, the IRS gave them 180 days to buy the land back at 20% more than the winning bidder. The winning bid was $2.58 million which means the tribe could purchase back the land for 3.09 million within a 180 days. Brandon Sazue, the tribal chairman, said he has received a loan for 3 million from another tribe in Minnesota.
The CCST plans to withdraw taxes from employee paychecks going forward. The reason why this whole case started was because CCST states that the Bureau of Indians affairs told them they were tax exempt. It turns out that Federally recognized tribes are, but not corporations affiliated and formed as separate entities.