Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 4:19 am | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: County’s Agreement with Chumash an Embarrassment

Last week there was an article stating that the County of Santa Barbara is facing 10 major fiscal issues in the next two years. If that is the case, why did the county enter into an agreement with the Chumash tribe where the tribe is only obligated to pay an annual amount of $178,000 in lieu of property taxes on Camp 4, a 1,400-acre parcel in the Santa Ynez Valley that they purchased for $44 million, an agreement that ceases in 2040?

The tribe claims it will build only 140 single-family homes along with a tribal center. If the homes were valued at $500,000 each, the property taxes alone would be more than $770,000 per year. That figure doesn’t take into account the taxes that would be paid on the remaining acreage and tribal center. There is no guarantee they will not construct commercial buildings on the property.

The paltry sum of $178,000 doesn’t come close to covering the fiscal impact on the remaining citizens in the county for the services that will be provided. It is not even adjusted for inflation.

Supervisor Peter Adam was right at the board meeting when he said agreement with the tribe is “… ambiguous as to the commitments the county is agreeing to and its ambiguous as to the cost that we are agreeing to and therefore it is a blank check and it is a bad deal for the county.”

Can someone explain to me how Supervisor Das Williams got on the negotiating team, especially since he has taken more than $172,400 in campaign contributions from California tribes, including $46,000 from the Chumash, of which $18,000 was given to him after he was elected Santa Barbara County supervisor?

The agreement with the tribe is an embarrassment that will cost the county and its residents for years to come.

Mike Hadley
Santa Ynez

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >