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Fixing the federal tribal tax-exempt bond is the only way to leverage infrastructure spending and create economic growth

National Congress of American Indians 8 (The oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the interests of tribal governments and communities, December 17, Indian Country Economic Recovery Plan,

Fixing the federal tax-exempt bond rules applicable to tribal governments would leverage any infrastructure spending by the federal government, thereby increasing the reach of the Economic Stimulus package and reducing the burden to the taxpayer through complementary tribal financing. Like state and local governments, tribal governments need to issue tax-exempt bonds for a variety of purposes, including infrastructure and economic development activities. In fact, tribal governments that lack a tax base (as many do) have an even greater need to finance revenue-generating projects in order to fund and deliver much-needed government services to their citizens. A consensus proposal to fix the federal tax-exempt bond rules can be found in legislation introduced by Senators Max Baucus and Gordon Smith in the Senate and by Congressmen Xavier Becerra and Devin Nunes in the House. The Tribal Government Tax-Exempt Bond Parity Act (S. 1850/H.R. 3164) would indirectly, but effectively address fundamental infrastructure and community development needs for tribes. Passage of the legislation would go a long way to allow tribal governments to build self-sufficient local economies, serve fundamental citizen needs, and create healthy and safe communities. Yet due to federal tax and securities rules, tribal governments find it both difficult and more expensive to finance government functions and economic development projects. There is no reason why Indian tribal governments should be paying more to provide for their citizens than other governments do.

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