Pickerel Lake Outlet Ass'n v. Day CountyAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court concluding that Plaintiffs had standing to bring this declaratory judgment action challenging ad valorem property taxes that Day County assessed against them and upholding the disputed taxes, holding that the circuit court did not err.
Plaintiffs were the Pickerel Lake Outlet Association, a South Dakota domestic non-profit corporation, and forty non-Indian owners of permanent improvements around Pickerel Lake. Plaintiffs claimed that federal law preempted taxation because their structures were on land held in trust for the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate or its members. The State defended the County's authority to levy the taxes, arguing that preemption did not apply and challenging Plaintiffs' standing to sue. The circuit court concluded that Plaintiffs had standing and upheld the County's authority to assess the taxes. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiffs satisfied all the prerequisites for standing; and (2) the County was neither explicitly nor implicitly preempted by the provisions of 25 U.S.C. 5108 from assessing ad valorem taxes against Plaintiffs.