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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Taxation of Indian lands in Iowa,   pp. 480-482 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 480

The subject of the taxation of lands purchased by Indians in Iowa 
was presented by the following letter from the school superintendent 
in charge of the Sac and Fox Indians: 
Toledo, August 12, 1905. 
SIR: A new phase in the "Indian problem" developed at this agency
a few days ago, when 
one of the rival chiefs, Ta-ta-pa-she, by name, with his counselors of state
appeared before 
me in my office, and delivered his order through Jim Peters, the spokesman
for the nonpro- 
gressive element and issued his orders to the effect, that I should pay no
more taxes on their 
land. This follows the action of the district court of Tama County, Iowa,
which recently ren- 
dered a decision, that the State of Iowa had no jurisdiction over these Indians,
and that they 
could not sue, or be sued in the said State court. I am of the opinion, that
this movement 
has for its motive power, the same influence that has instigated all the
trouble with this fac- 
tion of the Sac and Fox Indians for the past six years. I am also of the
opinion that if I 
pay these taxes which fall due this fall, that suit will be instituted against
me for its recovery. 
I certainly will pay these taxes, if not otherwise advised by the Indian
Office, because, 
these lands being taxable before the Indians purchased them, the mere act
of purchase by 
the Indians would certainly not alienate these lands, and take them from
the power of the 
State to tax them and otherwise exercise jurisdiction, as retained by the
act of the general 
assembly of the State of Iowa of February 20, 1896. 
In view of possible complications which may arise, pending the settlement
of the status 
of these Indians and their lands, I very respectfully request instructions
regarding this ques- 
tion of the right of the State to collect taxes from these Indians on their
lands, as specified 
in the act referred to above. I will lay this matter before the governor
of the State of Iowa 
in the immediate future, for information, and instruction relative thereto.
Very respectfully, 
Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent. 
The law passed by the legislature of Iowa tendering to the United States
jurisdiction over 
Indians in that State and the act of Congress accepting jurisdiction over
them are as follows: 
CHAPTER 110.-An act tendering to the United States jurisdiction over certain
Indians residing in 
Iowa, and over their lands, and the privilege of purchasing land in Tama
County, for Indian School 
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa: 
SECTION 1. That, except as hereinafter provided, exclusive jurisdiction of
the Sac and Fox Indians 
residing in Iowa, and retaining their tribal relation, and of all other Indians
dwelling with them, and 
of all lands now or hereafter owned by or held in trust for them as a tribe,
be and the same is hereby 
tendered to the United States, and that, as soon as the United States shall
accept and assume such 
jurisdiction, all such jurisdiction on the part of the State of Iowa shall
SEC. 2. Consent is hereby given to the United States to purchase any land
in Tama County to be used 
for and in connection with any school or schools to be established and managed
by Federal authority 
for the education of said Indians. 
SEC. 3. Nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to prevent
on any of the lands referred 
to in this act the service of any judicial process issued by or returnable
to any court of this State or 
judge thereof, or to prevent such courts from exercising jurisdiction of
crimes against the laws of Iowa 
committed thereon either by said Indians or others, or of such crimes committed
by said Indians in 
any part of this State, or to prevent the establishment and maintenance of
highways and the exercise 
of the righ  of eminent domain under the laws of this State over lands now
or hereafter owned by or 
held in trust for said Indians, or to prevent the taxation of said lands
for State, county, bridge, county 
road, and district road purposes, and such other purposes as the general
assembly may from time to 
time by special statute provide. 
SEc. 4. This act being of immediate importance shall take effect from and
after its publication in the 
Iowa State Register, and the Des Moines Leader, newspapers printed and published
in Des Moines, 
Approved Feb. 14, 1896. 

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