Published November 17, 2017
WASHINGTON – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee bill.
Indian Country has pressed for more than a quarter century for Congress to address tax code provisions that treat tribes inequitably and hinder economic growth in Indian Country. Tax reform can be a once in a generation opportunity to uphold the federal trust obligation by helping tribes build stronger economies, create jobs, and deploy critical infrastructure. NCAI and NAFOA have worked tirelessly in recent years to educate Congress on tribal tax provisions which would help stimulate tribal economic growth, but these provisions are not present in either version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
NCAI and NAFOA view it as deeply regrettable that neither the House nor the Senate bill takes seriously Indian Country’s priorities for tax reform. With respect to tribal nations, unless tribal provisions are included, the current tax reform legislation amounts to little more than a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over the next ten years. This deficit increase will inevitably create pressure to cut federal programs and services that are extremely important to tribal communities. Deficit-financed tax cuts that lead to austerity budget cuts would affect all Americans, but would disproportionately impact American Indians and Alaska Natives who rely on federal funding of the trust responsibility as well as social programs.
Accordingly, NCAI and NAFOA oppose the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. NCAI and NAFOA call on tribal governments to oppose these bills as well and contact their Congressional delegations to urge them to vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.