Capitol Weekly tells us that The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians has sued the Internal Revenue Service, claiming the agency double-taxed them and owes them a refund that could total in the millions of dollars
But the tribe maintains that this contrasts with California law, which states that casino income is exempt from taxes, but only if the recipient is a member of the casino tribe, living on the same reservation as the casino itself, or if they are living out of state.
The dispute arises out of the 2003 and 2004 tax years. According to Feldman, the IRS could levy these taxes on these revenues from the tribe or directly from its members in their individual tax returns, but not both. Read the rest at the link above.
From the Comments:
The Santa Ynez casino is not located on eligible "Indian Lands" as defined in the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act. It is not and never was a "reservation" although the tribe calls it a reservation and the land has never been brought into federal Indian trust. In fact the tribe and it's casino operation owes back taxes including unremitted sales taxes it has collected from unsuspecting customers thinking they were paying state "sales tax" when that 8 3/4 percent of each sale was pocketed by the tribe. An audit will likely disclosew they owe back property taxes and state income taxes totalling in the millions. Hopefully this latest attempt by the tribe to get a "refund" of taxes will expose the fact that it is the Sanrta Ynez Chumash that still owes millions in upaid taxes and the end result will be that they will be forced to pay them as they should have been long ago. The State and Santa Barbara County (who furnish all of the public services and infrastructure to the tribe, its casino and related businesses, has been deprived of these tax revenues needed to pay for all these public services and infrastructure and which have been a burden on the other non-Indian taxpayers. Maybe now these non-Indian taxpayers will be made whole!
Stay tuned. But maybe some audits are in order?