U.S. Rep. Kind: Introduces bill to end inequities in tax code for Wisconsin Tribes

Contact: Aaron White

Phone: 202-225-5506

Aaron.White@mail.house.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act, which will create parity and protect the sovereignty in the tax code for Native American Tribes. The bill lifts unfair restrictions for tribes that limit the power tribal governments have to build infrastructure, create jobs and provide employment benefits. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Tom Cole (R-OK), Sharice Davids (D-KS), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Dave Schweikert (R-AZ), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Paul Cook (R-CT), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

“Our tax code currently does not adhere to the constitution and treat Native American tribes with parity as the sovereign nations that they are.  Currently, Wisconsin’s Tribes are placed with an unfair burden that stifles economic growth and takes away basic rights such as child support enforcement. Wisconsin Tribes deserve equal treatment, which is why I’m proud to introduce this new bill which will level the playing field and help Tribes gain more access to opportunity,” said Rep. Ron Kind.

“The Ho-Chunk Nation is very appreciative of Rep. Ron Kind’s efforts to reform the federal internal revenue code in ways that will lead to more access to capital by the Nation and Indian tribes across the country. His bill will go a long way to help tribes strengthen their economies and create jobs and household incomes for tribal members and surrounding communities.  We urge the committees that will consider the Kind bill to move quickly and get this important bill passed and to the president for his signature,” said Douglass Greengrass, Vice President of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

This bipartisan bill would end inequities in the tax code for Native American tribes in Wisconsin and throughout the country in the following ways:

  • Equal treatment of Tribes as States with respect to bond issuances and excise taxes
  • Equal treatment of pension and employee benefit plans maintained by tribal governments
  • Equal treatment of Tribal foundations and charities like charities funded and controlled by other governmental funders and sponsors
  • Improving effectiveness of Tribal Child Support Enforcement Agencies by equal access to the Federal Parent Locator Service and Federal Tax Refund Offsets
  • Recognizing tribal governments for purposes of determining under the adoption tax credit whether a child has “special needs”

The Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act is endorsed by the National Congress of American Indians and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Tribal nations do not receive many of the benefits, incentives, and protections provided to state and local governments under the federal tax code,” said Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians. “The Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act is a strong step in the right direction, as it would provide tribal nations parity with other governments in several key areas of federal tax policy.”

“The U.S. Chamber has been supportive of Mr. Kind’s efforts towards tribal tax and investment reform since he first introduced a bill to do so in 2017.  Of particular interest to the Chamber is his effort to repeal the essential government function requirement relative to public bonding that sovereign tribes are subject to.  This repeal would place sovereign tribes on an equal footing relative to states and municipalities in bonding and promise to act as a stimulus towards economic development in Indian Country.” said Daniel Mahoney, Executive Director of the Native American Enterprise Initiative for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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