As the effects of the federal court decision making non-Indian structures on tribal land exempt from county and state taxes continue to impact La Conner area residents, taxpayers in the rest of the state could soon pay for the fallout of another tribal lawsuit.
Our friends at the Everett Daily Herald have been reporting on a lawsuit filed by the Tulalip Tribes federation against Snohomish County and the state of Washington to claim all the sales tax generated by non-Indian stores including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Cabela’s and several chain restaurants at the tribe’s Quil Ceda Village development and about 140 stores in the Seattle Premium Outlet Mall.
According to the Daily Herald, the lawsuit was filed in June and now the U.S. Justice Department has jumped in to join tribes in the lawsuit, thereby strengthening their muscle against the state and county – and ultimately, taxpayers.
Daily Herald reporters Noah Haglund, Chris Winters and Jerry Cornfield broke the story in late June, and the Associated Press and the newspaper’s editorial board reported on the U.S. Justice Department’s entry into the lawsuit this week.
According to the Daily Herald, the Tulalip Tribes seek control of about $40 million per year in sales tax money that flows to the state; of that about $9 million goes toSnohomishCounty, where it is spent mostly on public safety.
Since tribal land taxing issues are of great interest to our readers, the Daily Herald has given us permission to share and publish its stories on this matter. You can find links to the Daily Herald’s material at the bottom of this text.