GM 14-046

The Power to Tax Economic Activity in Indian Country

Indian tribes have identified state and local government taxation of economic activity in Indian Country as a challenge to the tribes’ ability to attract business, expand their economies, and generate revenue. With this memorandum, we provide you with a copy of an article written by partner Michael Willis that examines how several controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving taxation in Indian Country have undermined the federal policy of Indian self-determination. The article also explores recent actions by the Obama Administration and several policy proposals introduced by tribes that seek to clarify the power to oust state tax authority so that tribes may more fully benefit from the economic activity taking place within their territories.

The attached article was published in Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 28, No. 4, Spring 2014. © 2014 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission.