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Published on Friday, March 1, 2013

Property tax exemption for tribal property used for economic development

A bill that passed through the House Finance Committee yesterday would expand exemptions for federally recognized tribes from property and excise taxes to include economic development activities.

Currently, all property belonging to a federally recognized tribe is exempt from property tax if the property is used for essential government services. Essential government services include tribal administration, public facilities, fire, police, public health, education, sewer, water, transportation, and utility services.

HB 1287 extends the property tax exemption for essential government services to tribal economic development, which could include casinos, golf courses, and race tracks. This bill also extends the leasehold excise tax to property owned by tribes.

Although the full impact is unclear at this time, AWC and counties oppose the bill on the grounds that providing new property tax exemptions has a negative impact on local government revenue.

Categories: Budget & finance