Tribal Tax & Investment Reform Act Introduced in Congress by Rep. Gwen Moore

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Yesterday, Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced H.R. 8318, the Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act. Previously introduced every Congress since the 113th by Representative Kind (D-WI) before retirement, the new legislation has important changes to previously introduced measures, as well as several new provisions.

NAFOA Board of Directors President Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said of the bill, “This legislation is a significant step forward for tribal tax parity, and critical to spur business development in Indian Country. Allowing tribes greater access to tax-free bonds and making a much-needed increase in available credit will help create jobs and economic growth. Additional changes in the legislation, such as those to the New Market Tax Credits or General Welfare, will help bring the federal tax code more in line with the treaty obligations of the federal government. NAFOA strongly supports the ‘Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act’ introduced by Representatives Moore and Schweikert, and looks forward to working together to ensure its enactment for Indian Country.”

One of the main provisions of the legislation repeals the “essential government function” test that limits a tribe’s ability to issue government bonds. Additionally, there is a major increase in the bond volume cap available to tribal governments. From the legislative text summary, “this bill places Tribes on equal footing with state and local governments with respect to select excise taxes, including manufacturing and communication excise taxes.”

For years, tribal leaders have advocated for these critical changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Representative Moore’s legislation addresses these issues which have previously limited the economic growth of Indian Country and recognizes the sovereignty of tribal nations. On introduction, the bill received strong bipartisan co-sponsorship from these offices that signed on as initial cosponsors:

RDavidSchweikertAZ-01
DDanKildeeMI-08
RMikeKellyPA-16
DSuzanDelBeneWA-01
RTomColeOK-04
DDerekKilmerWA-6
RJohnMoolenaarMI-02

Next week, NAFOA will release a full summary of the new language in the bill, as well as the different provisions covered by the legislation.

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