Chemehuevi Tribe secures approval of HEARTH Act regulations

A view of the Chemehuevi Reservation in California. Photo by Chemehuevi Tribe

The Chemehuevi Tribe of California is the latest to take advantage of the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act.

Under the law, commonly known as the HEARTH Act, tribes can develop their own leasing regulations. Once approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribes won't have to seek approval for every single lease, eliminating hurdles to economic development.

"With this approval, the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe is authorized to enter into business site leases without further BIA approval," a notice published in the Federal Register on Thursday states.

Approval has another benefit. It confirms that the tribe cannot be taxed by the local or state government for activities on its lands.

"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," the notice states.

The advantaged haven't gone unnoticed in Indian Country. Since the HEARTH Act became law in 2012, 26 tribes have developed regulations to fit business, housing, agriculture and energy needs in their communities.

Federal Register Notice:
HEARTH Act Approval of Chemehuevi Indian Tribe Regulations (October 20, 2016)

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