Gabriel Galanda in Native Condition. Discussion »
Amidst endless political rancor in Washington DC about providing tax relief to the middle class and helping create new jobs throughout America, the Congress has allowed very important federal Indian country tax incentives to expire.
Gabe Galanda - Round Valley, on the record
Two particular federal tax incentives of importance to Indian country have expired. First, the accelerated depreciation program has lapsed. That program allows non-Indian businesses to realize significant tax savings by accelerating the depreciation on various reservation infrastructure, such as machinery and power lines, which over the years has served to attract such businesses to Indian country. Second, the Indian Employment Tax Credit has expired. That program has incentivized non-Indian businesses to hire Indians, through significant tax credits.
Without these federal tax incentives in place, there is less with which appeal to non-Indian companies to create new businesses and new jobs in Indian country. In turn, there is less opportunity for Indian country to grow its own private sector and middle class.
Despite much acclaim from both parties about cherishing the Native vote, Congress' bi-partisan actions, or inaction, speak louder than words. What federal tax relief has either party afforded Indian country for sake of new business and job creation? None. What has Congress done to fend off states and municipalities from attempting to tax Indian country? Nothing. Indeed, neither parties'
Indian platform mentions any form of federal or other tax relief on tribal lands.
Indian country must speak out against the expiration of federal Indian country tax incentives, and about being marginalized by both parties in the national tax policy debate. If politicians really care about the Native vote and the well- being of Indians, they should put their money where their mouths are, in the form of federal and other tax relief for Indian country.
Between now and November, any calls to Capitol Hill will likely fall on deaf ears. But come after the election, tribal constituents should call their Delegation to urge that Indian country's tax and job needs not be forgotten.
Gabe Galanda is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC, of Seattle, an American Indian owned law firm. He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. Mr. Galanda assists tribal governments and businesses in all matters of tribal economic development and diversification, including entity formation and related tax strategy.
posted September 7, 2012 8:40 am edt