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Tribal resolution outlines parameters for sales tax measure

Observer Staff

5/19/2006 12:00:00 AM

RESOLUTION NO. 06-051 WHEREAS: The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan is a

Federally recognized Indian Tribe under a Constitution and By-Laws ratified by the Tribe on November 4, 1986, pursuant to P.L. 99-346; and

WHEREAS: This Resolution is adopted by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council pursuant to Article VI, Section 1(k) of the Constitution of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; and

WHEREAS: The Tribal Council has determined that a need exists to implement and administer a Tribal Sales Tax within the boundaries of the Isabella Reservation; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Tribal Council hereby enacts Ordinance 27-Tribal Sales Tax Ordinance, as it appears below:




SECTION 1. Purpose

The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide for taxes on certain Retail Sales taking place on lands within the Isabella Reservation. The taxes represent charges for the privilege of doing retail business on such lands, and provide funds for the benefit of Tribal general welfare, public safety, public health, and other programs as determined by the Tribal Council.

SECTION 2. Definition of Isabella Reservation

As used in this Ordinance, "Isabella Reservation" means all lands and waters within the Isabella Reservation as established by the Treaties of August 2, 1855 (11 Stat. 633) and October 18, 1864 (14 Stat. 657), and any other lands that have been or may hereafter be added to the Reservation in any manner, including those lands in Arenac County, Michigan known as the Saganing District, all lands added to the Isabella Reservation by the Secretary of the Interior, and all lands now or hereafter held in trust by the United States for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe or any member thereof.

SECTION 3. Definitions

a. "Gross Receipts" means the total amount received, in money or by barter or exchange, for all Retail Sales as measured by the Sales Price. Gross Receipts shall not include tips or automatically charged servers' fees or similar add-on monies.

b. "Person" means any individual or group and any combination of individuals and groups, including but not limited to any firm, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, association, cooperative social club, fraternal organization, municipal or private corporation, Tribe, Tribal governmental subunit, or Tribal business enterprise.

c. "Retailer" or "Seller" means any person making sales, leases, or rentals of personal property or services.

d. "Retail Sale" means any Sale for any purpose other than resale, sublease, or subrent.

e. "Retailer Permit" means the permit required by this Ordinance to conduct business subject to the taxes of this Ordinance on certain Isabella Reservation lands.

f. "Sale" means any transaction, including a lease or rental, for consideration of any kind that results in the transfer of ownership or possession, delivery, use, or enjoyment of personal property. "Sale" shall not include the playing of, or winnings from, any Class I, Class II, or Class III game of chance.

g. "Sales Price" means the total amount of consideration, including cash, credit, property, and services, for which personal property is sold, leased, or rented, valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise.

h. "Tribal Tax Director" or "Tax Director" means the position of Tribal Tax Director as established by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Tax Administration Ordinance.

i. "Tribe" means the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.

SECTION 4. Lands To Which This Ordinance Applies

The tax imposed by this Ordinance shall be limited to Retail Sales that occur on the following lands:

a. Lands within the Isabella Reservation owned by the Tribe in fee;

b. Lands within the Isabella Reservation owned by the United States in trust for the Tribe or any of its enrolled members;

c. Lands within the Isabella Reservation wholly or partially owned in fee by any of the Tribe's enrolled members; and

d. Lands within the Isabella Reservation leased or assigned by the Tribe.

SECTION 5. Incidence

The incidence of the sales tax established by this Ordinance is on the Retailer, and the Retailer is liable for payment to the Tribe; however, the Retailer at the time of sale is authorized to add the tax to the Sales Price of all Retail Sales.

SECTION 6. Tax Imposed

A sales tax of six percent (6%) is hereby imposed on the Gross Receipts from all Retail Sales occurring within the lands identified in Section 4. Retail Sales on which this tax is imposed shall include but not be limited to the following:

a. Sales of food and non-alcoholic beverages prepared for immediate human consumption and served at restaurants, dining facilities (including employee dining facilities), snack facilities, banquet halls or rooms, meeting rooms, or similar premises, including food prepared and served by vendors from carts, booths, or similar locations.

b. Sales of gift items, art items, jewelry items, souvenirs, personal items, and other similar items typically found in gift shops, museum stores, child care or entertainment facilities, or convenience stores.

c. Sales of all other kinds of personal property conducted in the ordinary course of a business, including intermittent sales by occasional retailers.

d. Rental of hotel rooms, meeting rooms, banquet halls or rooms, and similar premises, and the associated provision of services such as movies, telephones, and internet to such premises.

SECTION 7. Exemptions from Tax

Notwithstanding the categories of sales identified in Section 6, the following sales shall be exempt from the tax imposed by that section.

a. Isolated or occasional sales, such as private sales made among friends and family members, which are not made in the course of any business operation.

b. Sales made in connection with an event that has been certified in advance by a Resolution of the Tribal Council as a Tribal Cultural, Historical, or Charitable Event.

c. Sales of pre-packaged food and beverage items, including items sold in vending machines.

d. Sales of tobacco products.

e. Sales of gasoline or motor fuels products.

f. Sales of alcoholic beverages.

g. Sales of services, excepting the services described in Section 6 relating to various kinds of room rentals.

h. Admission fees, concert or show tickets, arcade games, and similar items.

i. Sales that are specifically exempted from sales and use taxes of the State of Michigan.

SECTION 8. Complementary Items

The tax imposed by this Ordinance shall apply to complementary items ("comps") provided by the Soaring Eagle Players Club and to other complementary items provided by Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.

SECTION 9. Retailer Permits

a. Every Retailer within the Isabella Reservation whose Gross Receipts are subject to the taxes provided by this Ordinance shall file with the Tribal Tax Director an application for a Retailer Permit. For Retailers doing business at the effective date of this Ordinance, the application shall be filed within thirty days after such date. For Retailers starting business after the effective date of this Ordinance, the application shall be filed at least seven days before the Retailer begins to conduct business.

b. An application for a Retailer Permit shall be made on forms prescribed by the Tribal Tax Director. The following information shall be required for all applications: name under which the applicant transacts or intends to transact business; the location or locations of the business; the nature of the business; and the names of the owner or owners of the business. The Tribal Tax Director may require additional information to be provided on the application, and may promulgate rules relating to the circumstances under which Retailer Permits may be denied.

c. Upon the receipt of a completed application, and provided that there is no cause to deny the permit, the Tribal Tax Director shall issue the Retailer a Retailer Permit.

d. No Retailer shall conduct business on the lands to which the taxes under this Ordinance apply without having received a Retailer Permit, or without having a Retailer's application for a Retailer Permit pending with the Tax Director.

e. The Retailer shall display the Retailer Permit at a prominent location at the Retailer's place of business. If a Retailer changes the nature of business or changes location, the Retailer shall complete another application and receive another Retailer Permit.

f. A Retailer Permit is valid until canceled or revoked or until the end of any term specified in the Permit. It is not assignable and is valid only for the person in whose name it is granted and for the transaction of business at the place or places designated in the permit.

SECTION 10. Revocation of Retailer Permit

If the holder of a Retailer Permit fails to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance or the rules of the Tribal Tax Director, the Tax Director may revoke the Permit.

SECTION 11. Filing of Return

a. Each Retailer to whom this Ordinance applies shall file monthly with the Tax Director a return identifying all Retail Sales subject to this Ordinance, and identifying the amount of taxes due to the Tribe. The return shall be on forms prescribed by the Tribal Tax Director. The return applicable to each month shall be filed by the last day of the following month.

b. The Tribal Tax Director is authorized to promulgate rules requiring that such information, records, or relevant documents as he/she deems necessary for the proper and efficient administration of this Ordinance be included with the return, and that the return be signed by a specified person.

SECTION 12. Payment of Tax

Payment of the taxes owed for a particular month is due on the same date that the completed return for that same month is due.

SECTION 13. Penalties

Any Retailer who fails to timely collect or remit the tax imposed by this Ordinance shall be liable for the full amount of the tax owed plus simple interest at the rate of fifteen percent (15%) per month on unpaid balances. The Tribal Tax Director may impose a penalty of one hundred percent(100%) of taxes due if the Tax Director finds that a Retailer has willfully failed to collect or remit the tax imposed by this Ordinance.

SECTION 14. Record Keeping

Each Retailer shall keep all records that relate to the Sales for which taxes are due pursuant to this Ordinance. Such records shall be maintained separately for each reporting period. Such records shall be preserved for three years beyond the end of the period to which the records relate.

SECTION 15. Statute of Limitations

The Tribal Tax Director, at his/her discretion, may independently assess or determine taxes under this Ordinance after a return is filed or is due. Such assessment or determination may be made for any monthly period up to three years after the appropriate return is filed. No assessment or determination shall be valid if made after this three year limitations period. There shall be no limitations period in the case of failure to file a return or in the case of fraudulent conduct. The running of the limitations period may be suspended for any period agreed upon in writing between the taxpayer and the Tribal Tax Director.

SECTION 16. Effective Date

a. This Ordinance shall become effective June 5, 2006.

b. This Ordinance shall not apply for a period of one (1) year after the effective date of subsection "a" above to Retail Sales resulting from written contracts fully executed and approved prior to the date this Ordinance is approved by the Tribal Council, which contracts by their terms have established firm prices for Retail Sales subject to this Ordinance

c. As part of the implementation of this Ordinance, and for reasonable cause relating to implementation problems, the Tribal Tax Director shall have the discretion to waive tax collection obligations of a Retailer for up to the first ten business days after the effective date of subsection "a" above.