NCAI Action Alert: Contact Your Senators Urging Them to Support the Inclusion of Indian Country in Senate Tax Reform

November 14, 2017

Urgent Action Alert: Contact Your Senators Urging Them to Support the Inclusion of Indian Country in Senate Tax Reform

This week the Senate Finance Committee is considering the Senate tax reform bill, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which was introduced by Chairman Hatch last week Thursday. The bill does not currently include any tribal tax reform priorities.Over the weekend more than 350 amendments were filed for possible consideration this week-several of which include tribal tax legislation that has been introduced in the Senate. They include:

  •  Hatch Amendment #20 – S. 1935, the Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act
  • Hatch Amendment #21 – S. 2012, the Tribal Economic Assistance Act
  • Hatch Amendment #9 – Make Permanent Accelerated Depreciation on Indian Reservations
  • Hatch Amendment #15 – S. 1698, Alaska Settlement Trust Improvement Act
  • Hatch Amendment #17 – Selected Provisions from S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017

NCAI is working to ensure that the tribal amendments are offered and adopted during the Senate Finance Committee’s markup of the Senate tax reform bill.

Indian Country has long sought tax parity for tribal governments and increased economic development opportunity in tribal communities through tax reform. Therefore, we ask that tribes and tribal organizations contact their Senators and urge them to support the adoption of tribal tax amendments in Senate tax reform. 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact: John Dossett, NCAI General Counseljdossett@ncai.org OR Jacob Schellinger, NCAI Staff Attorney and Legislative Counseljschellinger@ncai.org. 

 

Form Non-Finance Committee Senator Letter/E-Mail
 
Dear Senator [NAME]:

I write on behalf of the _______________ to urge you to support the inclusion of tribal governments in the tax reform legislation currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. As you are aware, tax reform is a once in a generation opportunity to grow the economy, create jobs, and promote prosperity for American families. Nowhere is this more important than in Indian Country.  However, the Chairman’s mark must be amended to include tribal needs.

On November 1, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Building Tribal Economies: Modernizing Tax Policies that Work for Indian Country.”  This hearing examined how elements of the federal tax code have presented obstacles to tribal economic growth and infrastructure development, as well as Senate legislation that would solve these longstanding tax policy and regulatory barriers. Several of these pieces of legislation have been filed as amendments to the Chairman’s bill.

We encourage you to seize this important opportunity to urge members of the Senate Finance Committee to offer and support the inclusion of the following amendments:

  • Hatch Amendment #20 – S. 1935, the Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act
  • Hatch Amendment #21 – S. 2012, the Tribal Economic Assistance Act
  • Hatch Amendment #9 – Make Permanent Accelerated Depreciation on Indian Reservations
  • Hatch Amendment #15 – S. 1698, Alaska Settlement Trust Improvement Act
  • Hatch Amendment #17 – Selected Provisions from S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017

Excluding tribes would mean failing to provide the promises of economic opportunity embodied in tax reform to Indian Country. This failure would be made worse by the fact that tribes typically suffer disproportionately from spending cuts that often follow significant federal deficit increases-like the $1.5 trillion dollar deficit authorization associated with the tax reform bill-as federal funds support the fulfillment of federal treaty and trust obligations to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

We thank you for your consideration of these important matters. Your efforts to ensure that tax reform fulfills the trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal governments and their citizens are vital to promoting tribal economic development, job growth, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.

Respectfully,


Form Finance Committee Senator Letter/E-Mail
Dear Senator [NAME]:

I write on behalf of the _______________ to urge you to support the inclusion of tribal governments in the tax reform legislation currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee. As you are aware, tax reform is a once in a generation opportunity to grow the economy, create jobs, and promote prosperity for American families. Nowhere is this more important than in Indian Country.  However, the Chairman’s mark must be amended to include tribal needs.

On November 1, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a hearing entitled, “Building Tribal Economies: Modernizing Tax Policies that Work for Indian Country.”  This hearing examined how elements of the federal tax code have presented obstacles to tribal economic growth and infrastructure development, as well as Senate legislation that would solve these longstanding tax policy and regulatory barriers. Several of these pieces of legislation have been filed as amendments to the Chairman’s bill.

We encourage you to seize this important opportunity to support the inclusion of the following amendments:

  • Hatch Amendment #20 – S. 1935, the Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act
  • Hatch Amendment #21 – S. 2012, the Tribal Economic Assistance Act
  • Hatch Amendment #9 – Make Permanent Accelerated Depreciation on Indian Reservations
  • Hatch Amendment #15 – S. 1698, Alaska Settlement Trust Improvement Act
  • Hatch Amendment #17 – Selected Provisions from S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017

Excluding tribes would mean failing to provide the promises of economic opportunity embodied in tax reform to Indian Country. This failure would be made worse by the fact that tribes typically suffer disproportionately from spending cuts that often follow significant federal deficit increases-like the $1.5 trillion dollar deficit authorization associated with the tax reform bill-as federal funds support the fulfillment of federal treaty and trust obligations to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

We thank you for your consideration of these important matters. Your efforts to ensure that tax reform fulfills the trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal governments and their citizens are vital to promoting tribal economic development, job growth, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.
Respectfully,

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.

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