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Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval "An Act Extending the Time of Payment to Purchasers of Land of the Omaha Tribe of Indians in Nebraska, and for Other Purposes"

July 09, 1890

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without my approval the bill (H. R. 5974) entitled "An act extending the time of payment to purchasers of land of the Omaha tribe of Indians in Nebraska, and for other purposes."

The United States holds the legal title of these lands, which have been sold for the benefit of the Omaha Indians to secure the unpaid purchase money, the time of payment of which it is proposed by this act to extend. There is no objection that I know of, either on the part of the United States or of the Indians, to the extension of the unpaid installments due from purchasers. This relief is probably due to the purchasers. The bill, however, contains the following provision:

That all the lands the payment for which is hereby extended shall be subject to taxation in all respects by and in the State of Nebraska as if fully paid for and patents issued.

Now, while it is entirely proper that the interest of the purchasers in these lands should share the burdens of the communities in which the lands are located, the title of the United States and the beneficial interest of the Indians in the lands should not be subjected to sale for the delinquency of the purchasers in paying tax assessments levied upon the lands. The effect of the provision which has been quoted would, in my opinion, give to the purchaser at a tax sale a title superior to the lien of the Government for purchase money. The bill should have contained a proviso that only the interest of the purchasers from the Government could be sold for taxes, and that the tax sale should be subject to the lien of the United States for unpaid purchase money.

BENJ. HARRISON

APP Note: Title devised by Gerhard Peters

Benjamin Harrison, Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval "An Act Extending the Time of Payment to Purchasers of Land of the Omaha Tribe of Indians in Nebraska, and for Other Purposes" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/206199

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