Commission Says Taxes Don't Apply On Reservations
Mar. 18, 1987
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ State sales and use taxes do not apply to some purchases made by members of the Ute tribe who live on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, the State Tax Commission said Tuesday.
Tribe members need not pay state taxes on purchases made on the reservation or on items that are bought off the reservation but are delivered to a reservation address, commission chairman R.H. Hansen said in a news release.
Hansen said members of the tribe have been exempted as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last December that quadrupled the size of the eastern Utah reservation.
The ruling added 3 million acres to the reservation to make it the second largest in the nation, and prompted Ute and state officials to begin negotiations on the question of state sales taxes, among other issues.
In order to qualify for the exemption, tribal members must be enrolled on the tribe's records and must present their membership card at the time of purchase.
Merchants will be required to keep a separate record of each tax-exempt transaction, including the date, the name of the customer, the amount of the sale and the customer's federal identification number.
If the purchase is made off the reservation, the merchant also must keep proof that the merchandise was delivered to a reservation address, such as an invoice or freight bill.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that restored the original boundaries of the reservation.
Some 18,000 non-Indians live within the 3 million acres restored to the reservation. The territory also includes valuable oil fields that are worth millions of dollars in tax and lease revenue to the state.
Many jurisdicational issues stemming from the ruling still are to be settled in negotiations among state, local and tribal officials.