During the IRS conflict, Brandon occupied the land in question in this modest trailer. Click ON Image For A Larger Picture
A $2.7 million loan from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of South Dakota will save 7,100 acres of tribal land from seizure by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe was approved for a $2.7 million SMSC loan to buy back land that was seized by the IRS and sold at public auction in December 2009, according to the SMSC. The closing of the loan comes within the 180-day period after the sale during which the property can be redeemed. According to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, approximately 7,100 acres were seized and sold for $2.57 million in response to a debt accrued over bad tax advice. According to the lawsuit, “The tribe has attempted since then to pay the arrearages and subsequent amounts as they come due, but has been unable to bring the employment taxes current because over this same amount of time the Internal Revenue Services have levied and garnished various accounts of the tribe making it impossible for the tribe to bring the taxes current.”
Brandon Sazue's stronghold entrance during his protest against the IRS
Brandon Sazue was instrumental in saving his communities land which was 7,100 acreas of prime real estate.
The Internal Revenue Service has auctioned thousands of acres of land owned by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, claiming the tribe owes back taxes. Crow Creek Sioux Chairman Brandon Sazue said the IRS auctioned off 7,100 acres to collect purported delinquent employment taxes owed since 2003. The tribal nation is determined to recover the property, which is not only within its ancestral territory, but also some of the tribe's most valuable land that was slated for energy development.
The tribal council filed a lawsuit Dec. 1 in the U.S. District Court for South Dakota, seeking a restraining order to prevent the IRS from selling the land, but the court denied the request. However, tribal attorneys also filed a notice of lis pendens or “pending lawsuit” — an action that secures a plaintiffa's claim on a property so that even if a sale takes place it cannot be finalized until a court determines the outcome of the lawsuit.
A trial will take place next spring, Sazue said. “On March 29 and March 30, we're going to have an all out trial about the land, and about the IRS because it has been levying our tribal accounts and hurting the tribe” Sazue said. “They come in and take the money before payroll; just last week they took $48,000. They've been doing that until this day, so how much money have they taken from the tribe already? In order for us to get the land back we've got 180 days to buy it back for whatever the guy paid for it plus 20 percent. More... Diversity Foundation, Inc. Was there to interview Brandon during the IRS Land conflict