Board of County Comm'rs v. Seber
Annotate this Case
318 U.S. 705 (1943)
U.S. Supreme Court
Board of County Comm'rs v. Seber, 318 U.S. 705 (1943)
Board of County Commissioners v. Seber
Argued March 3, 4, 1943
Decided April 19, 1943
318 U.S. 705
1. Lands theretofore purchased with restricted funds derived from an oil and gas lease of restricted allotted lands of a Creek Indian held, under the Act of June 20, 1936, immune from tax by Oklahoma for the year 1937 where, on the assessment date, the Indian owned a life estate in such lands subject to restrictions against alienation except with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior. P. 318 U. S. 709.
(a) The tax immunity granted by the Act of June 20, 1936, was not limited to lands purchased for landless Indians. P. 318 U. S. 710.
(b) An Indian has "title" within the meaning of the Act if his interest in the property is such that, but for the Act, he would be subjected to the tax. P. 318 U. S. 711.
2. Lands theretofore purchased with restricted funds derived from an oil and gas lease of restricted allotted lands of a Creek Indian, and which have been conveyed to Creek Indian grantees, subject
to valid restrictions against alienation except with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, held, under the Act of My 19, 1937, immune from tax by Oklahoma where, prior to the assessment date, the lands have been properly designated by such grantees as homestead lands. P. 318 U. S. 712.
(a) The tax immunity granted by the Act of May 19, 1937, does not extend only to land purchased for landless Indians. P. 318 U. S. 712.
(b) The tax exemption granted by the 1937 Act is not personal to the Indian whose restricted funds were used to purchase the land; nor does it extend to the land in the hands of the Creek Indian grantees only until 1956. P. 318 U. S. 712.
(c) It is immaterial that the Creek Indian grantees in this case are citizen of the United States. P. 318 U. S. 718.
3. The Act of June 20, 1936, and the Act of May 19, 1937, as here applied, are constitutional. P. 318 U. S. 715.
4. The grant of citizenship is not inconsistent with the status of Indians as wards whose property is subject to the plenary control of the federal government. P. 318 U. S. 718.
5. Creek Indians of the half blood or more, though they be unenrolled, are tribal Indians subject to federal control. P. 318 U. S. 718.
130 F.2d 663 affirmed.
Certiorari 317 U.S. 622, to review the affirmance in part of a judgment, 38 F.Supp. 731, allowing recovery of taxes paid upon lands claimed to be tax exempt under federal statutes.
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