Tribes are heard voice is at key congressional hearings, listening sessions, and government-to-government consultations. Despite our consistent outreach and education, progress with the new Administration has been slow and frustrating to say the least. Throughout 2017, all of Indian Country united in the push to include Indian Country in national tax reform efforts. NIGA hosted more than a half dozen meetings at our Stanley R. Crooks Tribal Leaders Conference Center to press policy makers to amend the U.S. Tax Code to provide Indian tribes with all the tools, tax incentives and tax credits for economic development that are made available to state and territorial governments. Tribes and tribal organizations nationwide expressed great disappointment in the failure of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to make any progress on this and many other tribal tax priorities. NIGA will continue work on behalf of our Member Tribes and all of Indian Country to break down barriers to economic development in Indian Country and to amend federal laws to acknowledge the constitutional status of Indian tribes as distinct governments. We will raise awareness to the more than $50 billion in unmet needs to rebuild Indian Country’s neglected infrastructure, and for potential legislation to advance economic development and commerce in Indian Country. We will continue to push our legislative agenda and remain optimistic that this administration and congress will stay true to their words that, “Tribal Sovereignty should mean something” and that self-determination unites all Indian Tribes and this administration. We will continue to work with them to ensure our communities continue to make strides that improve the quality of life for our members and our neighbors. NIGA’s Legislative Agenda We continue to advance our legislative and policy agenda with the Administration and the 115th Congress. Items that we continue to educate, advance and promote include: protection of existing rights to conduct gaming under IGRA and opposition to amendments to that Act; passage of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act; ensuring fairness for Indian tribes as governments in any federal iGaming legislation; reversing the Supreme Court’s attack in Carcieri and restoring tribal homelands; fully implementing the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act; ending Dual Taxation; advancing updates to the Indian Trader Regulations; eliminating the essential governmental function test for bonding and pension plans while working to bring parity in the treatment of Indian tribes as governments for federal tax laws and tax credit programs; and further developing and diversifying tribal economies. NIGA learned early last week that the Senate is scheduling a vote on the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act next week. It is imperative that all Tribes press their Senators for this floor vote. This Act will amend the National Labor Relations Act to restore Tribal Governments as sovereign entities, just as U.S. Territories and possessions (States) and the District of Columbia are recognized. This will provide parity for Tribal Governments and the government revenue generated by them to provide essential programs and services to reservation residents. We have an opportunity to bring this twelve year issue to closure for once and for all. Please take time out of your schedule this week to call, email and contact your Senators to encourage their vote for cloture on S63.
INDIAN GAMING - ANNUAL REPORT 2018 5
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