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What We Do

The Business Regulations & Tax department came together as a direct result of the Tax Agreement the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe made with the State of Michigan. Read More
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe entered/signed into a Tax Agreement with the State of Michigan by and through its Department of Treasury on December 17, 2010, implemented on 6/1/11, then took effect 1/1/12. The Department of Business Regulation was created to oversee the Tax Agreement between the Tribe and the State of Michigan and to help diversify the Tribe’s investments. The goal is to develop an entrepreneurial department that is able to recognize and develop various economic opportunities. With the Tax Agreement there are many advantages that Tribal Members that live in the Agreement Area can take advantage of. Such as tax exempt motor fuel, tobacco and sales and use tax on vehicles and construction materials for your principle residence.

Residential Tribal Member (RTM)

The first step in recognizing eligibility to participate in the tax agreement is to fill out/file the Resident Tribal Member Application. “Residential Tribal Member” (RTM) means a Tribal Member whose principal place of residence is located within the Agreement area. Read More
Register as a Resident Tribal Member to verify a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Member lives within the Tax Agreement Area for Tax Agreement purposes. Once this application is filed with the Business Regulations Department, a Tribal Member then receives a ‘blue’ Resident Tribal Member card from the Tribal Clerk and begins receiving the tax benefits below.
Residency Form (pdf)

Resident Tribal Members are exempt from both the sales tax and use tax on the following items, regardless of where purchased or used, provided they are purchased for the non-commercial, personal use of the Resident Tribal Member and principally garaged, berthed, or stored within the Agreement Area.

  • Passenger vehicles
    • Including automobiles, pick-up trucks, recreational vehicles and motorcycles
  • Recreational watercrafts
  • Snowmobiles
  • Off-road vehicles

Joint purchases by a Resident Tribal Member and a non-member spouse are limited to a 3% sales/use tax exemption (half of the 6% tax rate). Use tax must be paid on the fair market value of the vehicle if Tribal member moves out of the Tax Agreement Area after receiving a Resident Tribal Member sales tax exemption.

Once the ‘Resident Tribal Member Claim’ form (TBR510) is filled out, you will receive a Tribal Certificate of Exemption for Sales and Use Tax. The certificate will need to be submitted to the Dealership/seller in order to receive the tax exempt benefit.

Resident Tribal Members may Register their vehicle with the Business Regulations Department and receive a Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Plate. We have on hand: auto, motorcycle, snowmobile, moped and trailer plates that display our proud SCIT logo. Yearly tab renewals are also processed on-site. (see Fee List) We are unable to accommodate handicap plates at this time. (see At-Large/Member Services for Elder parking passes) Insurance is required for new plates and renewals.

In order to receive the motor fuel tax discount of .15/gallon this Fuel Tax Exemption form (TBR515) needs to be filled out and filed with Business Regulations. Below are the Rules and must be followed.

  1. Fuel tax discount is only allowed on fuel purchased for a Tribal member's personal use.
  2. Resident Tribal member must be at least 16 years old.
  3. Resident Tribal members must register their vehicle and license plate number with the tax office before obtaining the fuel tax discount.
  4. Tax-exempt fuel may only be dispensed into a registered vehicle or approved container.
  5. A Tribal member who is unable to drive due to a disability may obtain authorization from the Tax Office to purchase fuel tax-exempt for the vehicle of a non-member spouse, family member or caretaker to provide transportation for the Tribal member.
  6. Fuel tax discount is only available at the Mount Pleasant Sagamok Mobil Gas Station.
  7. Tribal members must pre-identify themselves to the cashier and have their picture SCIT RTM Tribal ID (blue) with them.
    • NO PICTURE ID, NO DISCOUNT!
  8. Tribal member must complete log at the Mount Pleasant Sagamok Mobil Gas Station. Log the Tribal ID#, Name, Initials, License Plate #, and amount of gasoline or diesel.
  9. A Resident Tribal Member (RTM) must turn their RTM ID if they move out of the Tax Agreement Area to the Tax Office.
  10. Tribal member must keep track of their own tax-exempt gallons. Monthly limits will be enforced.
  11. Penalties will apply for failure to follow tax-exempt motor fuel rules.
  12. Fuel tax exemption program may be suspended by the Tribe at any time.
  13. The Tribe may bar individual Tribal members from the fuel tax exemption program if operational rules and procedures are not followed.

Resident Tribal Members are exempt from both the sales tax and use tax on modular homes and mobile homes, not for resale, used as their principal residence. Joint purchases by a Resident Tribal Member and a non-member spouse are limited to a 3% sales/use tax exemption (half of the 6% tax rate).

Once the ‘Resident Tribal Member Claim for Modular homes and Mobile homes’ form (TBR513) is filled out, you will receive a Tribal Certificate of Exemption for Sales and Use Tax. The certificate will need to be submitted to the seller in order to receive the tax exempt benefit.

Sales of electricity, natural gas or artificial gas, home heating fuels (propane, LP and fuel oil) and all transmission and distribution charges are exempt from both the sales tax and use tax if the product is delivered to a Resident Tribal Member's principal residence located within the Agreement Area. In addition, telephone (intrastate and interstate), telegraph leased wire, internet, cable and other similar communications rendered to and paid for by the Resident Tribal Member are exempt from both the sales tax and use tax if the service is rendered to a Resident Tribal Member's principal residence located within the Agreement Area.

The ‘Resident Tribal Member/Tribal Entity Claim for Utilities’ form (TBR514) will need to be filled out and submitted to the Business Regulations Department along with copies of the entire bill. The utility bill needs to be solely in the Resident Tribal Members’ name.

Affixation by a Resident Tribal Member:

Purchases by a Resident Tribal Member of materials for affixation by the Resident Tribal Member for construction, renovation, or improvement of his or her principal residence within the Agreement Area are exempt from both the sales tax and use tax if the transaction takes place in the Agreement Area.

Once the ‘Resident Tribal Member Construction Materials’ Form (TBR511a) is filled out, you will receive a Tribal Certificate of Exemption for Sales and Use Tax Certificate. The certificate will need to be submitted to the business where purchases are being made in order to receive the tax exempt benefit.

Affixation by a Contractor:

Tangible personal property to be affixed to real estate by a contractor is exempt from both the sales tax and use tax when it is purchased, used or acquired in the performance of a contract for construction, renovation or improvement of the principal residence of a Resident Tribal Member.

Responsibility of the Contractor:
The Contractor Must:

  • Complete the Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption (Form 3372), indicating the basis for the exemption claim as "affixation to real estate under a tribal-state tax agreement"
  • Complete and present the Tribal Certificate of Exemption for Sales and Use Tax (Form 3998), as well as the Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption (Form 3372), and the Letter of Authorization to the vendor/supplier of the tangible personal property that will be affixed to the real estate.
  • Retain a copy of the Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption, the Tribal Certificate of
  • Exemption and the Letter of Authorization.

Construction projects spanning multiple years will require a new Tribal Certificate of Exemption at the beginning of each new year.

If you are a Resident Tribal Member (living within the Tax Agreement Area) you are exempt from Michigan income tax on all non-business income. The Tribe is not required to withhold and remit Michigan income tax from Resident Tribal Member employees. By completing this form (TD500-W4), you are certifying that you live within the Tax Agreement Area, have Resident Tribal Member status and do not want Michigan income tax withheld from your payroll check. Please be advised that it is the employee's responsibility to cover all outstanding state income tax liabilities.

Class A: Permanent Permit (181-365 days). All businesses who engage in business on the Tribal Lands for the majority of the calendar year, whether at a temporary or permanent business location, or who engage in business from private homes or residences. There is a $25 application fee for a Permanent Retail Permit.

Class B: Seasonal Permit (5-180 days). All businesses who engage in business on the Tribal Lands for a period of not less than 5 days but no more than 180 days in a calendar year. There is a $10 application fee for a Seasonal Retail Permit.

Class C: Temporary Permit (4 days or less). All persons who engage in business at a fixed location on Tribal Lands for a period of 4 days or less. There is a $5 application fee for a Temporary Retail Permit.

Resident Tribal Members are entitled to an annual sales tax credit/refund representing an estimated amount of sales tax and use tax they would have paid on purchases of items for their personal use where the transactions and use of the property would have occurred solely within the Agreement Area. The annual refund check is designed to reimburse Resident Tribal Members for the sales tax and use tax paid on everyday personal use items, such as furniture, appliances, yard equipment and other household items, excluding however, items purchased from Tribal, Tribal Member and Tribal Entity retailers located in the Agreement Area. If you have any questions, visit www.michigan.gov/incometax or call 517-636-4486.