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Taxation Issues When Conducting Business With Native American Tribes


Learn about the tax issues and opportunities you need to know about when doing business with Native American tribes.

As Native American tribes continue to diversify their own economic activities both on and off Native American lands, a growing number of non-Native American companies in the United States and around the world recognize the untapped benefits of locating in Native American lands and doing business with tribes, tribally-owned enterprises and businesses owned by tribal members. These ventures present significant legal challenges along with unique opportunities, particularly in the area of taxation. This topic examines the key federal, state and tribal tax issues facing companies that work with Native American tribes and tribal enterprises, with practical insights into what taxes may apply under particular circumstances, and a discussion of tax incentives and planning considerations relating to economic development on tribal lands and ventures involving tribal enterprises.



Kelly S. Croman

Kelly S. Croman

Marine View Ventures, Inc.

  • Provides legal and consulting services to tribes and their economic development companies
  • Previously served as general counsel for Marine View Ventures, Inc., a tribally chartered corporation of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians in Washington State that operates six gas station/convenience stores, two carwashes, a cardlock fueling facility, and a marina, and manages manage a variety of industrial and commercial properties on the Puyallup Reservation, including lands in the City of Tacoma, City of Fife, Port of Tacoma, and unincorporated Pierce County
  • Has spent more than 21 years as in-house counsel to tribal governments and their economic development agencies
  • Previously served as in-house counsel with the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and was in-house counsel with the Squaxin Island Tribe for nearly 10 years, where her work included an emphasis on governmental relations, tax, economic development, gaming and employment issues, as well as other areas of tribal and federal American Indian law; served another two years as CEO of Island Enterprises, Inc., the economic development arm of the Squaxin Island Tribe
  • Led tribal efforts working with the Governor’s Office and state agencies to secure passage by the Washington State Legislature of cigarette tax compact legislation in 2001 and fuel tax compact legislation in 2007 and negotiated the first compacts under both laws
  • Successfully litigated fuel tax incidence case, Squaxin Island Tribe et al. v. Washington State Department of Licensing
  • Former chair of the Washington State Bar Association's Indian Law Section and former Chair and current board member emeritus of the National Intertribal Tax Alliance
  • Frequently speaks to national and regional audiences on a wide variety of tribal tax, economic development and American Indian law issues
  • J.D. degree, University of Washington School of Law; M.P.A. degree, The Evergreen State College

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