An Arizona lawmaker wants to tap into the TPT for Native American Communities
PHOENIX – On Feb. 13, Arizona state lawmaker Sen. Albert Hale of St. Michaels in district 7 sponsored House Bill 2522, a bill that would essentially give 50 percent of the Transaction Privilege Tax or TPT back into Native American communities.
It also could set new standards for Tribes in Arizona, including the Navajo Nation. Recently, Sen. Jackson of Window Rock and Crandell of Heber sponsored similar bills, but there bill had to do with making the Hopi and Navajo Nation a county.
It was reported, Arizona rakes in over $16 million just from county taxes.
Sen. Hale said, “American Indian communities should have access to the TPT money collected on Native American lands,” he also explained that money should go back into the economy of tribal Nations.
Hale said, currently, the TP Tax money, or sales tax, is collected from businesses not owned by enrolled members operating on Native American lands.
The tax money is distributed to the state, counties and municipalities incorporated under state law. Indian nations are not included in this distribution formula. Hale said his bill would correct this problem in the distribution formula.
HB2522 would allow the use of the Indian nations’ share of TPT money as collateral for bonds to finance telecommunications, infrastructure development, community projects and roads.
“The TPT funds collected from non-Indian owned businesses operating on Native American lands will help support the growth of our communities,” Hale said. “When that money starts coming directly to Native American communities, people in those communities will be empowered to prioritize the projects and the development that are necessary.”
Mr. Hale is a former Navajo President and currently serves in the Arizona State Senate.