Frequently Asked Questions

Land Buy-Back Program Frequently Asked Questions

Pala Land Buy Back Post-offer FAQ

  1. How did the program determine who received offers? The program has considered factors including; level of fractionation (number of owners), tribal priority tracts, and individuals who registered with the program as “willing sellers”.
  2. How much money, in total, did the program offer to purchase allotment interests? The program sent out offers to 611 individuals, on a total of 2187 allotment interests, with a total offer amount of approximately $4 million.
  3. How much longer will the program be in operation at Pala? The offers have a 45-day shelf life from the offer cover letter date, which is 6/2. The final day to submit signed offers is 7/17/17. The program will begin the “close-out” phase immediately after the final day to sign. This period is a minimum of 30 days. The program expires at Pala 8/31/2017.
  4. How much will landowners receive? This is dependent on a variety of factors. Each eligible allotment was appraised at “fair market” value. The program decided which owners and allotments would receive offers. The appraisal amounts are divided by ownership percentage. For example if, a landowner owns 10% of  a parcel, and the parcel’s value is $1000; the owner is offered $100, plus the base fee of $75. Landowners may receive multiple offers on different allotments, however the base fee is only paid once.
  5. Who decided how much the allotments were valued at? The Office of Appraisal Services (OAS) used trained appraisers to determine the value of all allotments on the Tribe’s priority tract list. Parcels were treated as single owner fee lands and compared to local comparable sales to maximize the value of the land.
  6. Will landowners be able to negotiate the value and/or price of their interests? No. The program is a take it or leave it, one-time deal.
  7. Who decides which interests are sold to the Tribe? Each allotment owner decides individually for their own interests. Neither the membership, the EC, nor other allotment interest holders have a say in which interests the Tribe acquires. Each landowner decides if they want to sell one, all, some, or none of the interests they are offered on.
  8. Are landowners taxed on income derived from land sale? No. All income derived from land sale through the Land Buy Back Program is non-taxable.
  9. How are mineral interests addressed? The Program focuses on reducing fractionation so a landowner cannot sever one’s mineral rights from their surface rights. However, an individual that owns only mineral (not surface rights) may sell their mineral rights on a tract through the Program. 
  10. What about interests that have not completed the probate process? The Program used the most updated data to create offer sets. Any probate cases that completed before the offers were mailed, were eligible to be included in the Program. Cases that were incomplete as of the offer date, remain ineligible.
  11. How are funds from land sale received? Landowners decide how they would like to receive payment through the Office of Special Trustee (OST). The Program uses the landowner’s IIM account as a default. Payments can be received by check, gift card, it can be left in the IIM account, or the preferred method of direct deposit.
  12. How long is the offer valid for? The offer is only valid for 45 days from the date on the offer cover letter. However, the appraisals are good for 9 months from completion date.
  13. Program contact information. palabuyback@palatribe.com or DaNikka Huss (760) 891-3518, (760) 891-3565 or the Trust Beneficiary Call Center (TBCC) 888-678-6836.

 

For more information on offer packets please visit the Land Buy Back’s website: https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/landowners/offer-docs.

Pala Band of Mission Indians

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