A state-bill sponsored by the Chumash to expand property tax relief for all Native American tribes has been shelved. While existing law grants property tax exemptions for all Indian reservation land, AB 653 would have extended that exemption to land under application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The BIA process is lengthy, in part because of appeals from neighbors. Santa Ynez Valley residents and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann spoke out against the bill, which county staff estimated would have cost Santa Barbara County hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Los Angeles Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas authored the bill.


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