House panel agrees: Bad idea to tax Indian land

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM

BOISE -- The House Revenue and Taxation Committee unanimously passed a bill that would forbid counties from taxing tribal government land on the state's reservations.

Monday's vote sends the measure to the House floor.

Helo Hancock, the lobbyist for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe in northern Idaho, says the issue first arose in 2006.

That's when Idaho tribes received a "flurry of assessments" on land that had once been homesteaded, but later re-acquired by tribal governments.

The total at stake is about $303,000 in assessments annually, for all five Idaho tribes.

Hancock said that tribes already contribute significantly to the communities where their reservations are located, including to schools.

He says the Coeur d'Alenes' government wants the same treatment that's afforded other state and local governments on taxation issues.

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