December 27, 2017

Stories of the Year 2017

Tribal taxes worry area businesses
By Jerry W. Kram

Bar and liquor store owners were caught in the middle of a dispute between the Three Affiliated Tribes and the State of North Dakota this year.
The Tribal Business Council revised the liquor ordinance that had been in effect since the 1980s but not enforced. The revisions were approved by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and published in the Federal Register. They took effect in March and the tribe informed businesses selling alcohol on the Fort Berthold Reservation that they would subject to additional license fees and a 7 percent tax by the end of the year.
In a meeting with business owners in July, MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Mark Fox was adamant. He does not want to put bar owners on the Fort Berthold Reservation out of business.
However, he pointed out that the sale of alcohol comes with costs, and those costs have to be paid somehow. He also pointed out that while the State of North Dakota has collected millions of dollars from taxes on sales on the Fort Berthold Reservation, the tribe doesn’t get any of that money back to fund programs such as alcohol and drug treatment, law enforcement and domestic violence prevention.

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