‘We need a little more time’: Reservation sales tax bill drafts tabled until next year

    Tribal officials say they need more time to consider any potential changes that might be proposed to Wyoming’s sales tax collection and distribution process on the Wind River Reservation.

    The Wyoming Legislature’s Select Committee on Tribal Relations discussed two bills related to reservation sales taxes during a meeting last month in Fort Washakie, but Wind River Tax Commission director Clarence Aragon said he “would like to put a pause” on both drafts “so we can continue to do our research” and “inform our Tribal members about this.”

    “The two bills … are good bills,” Northern Arapaho Business Council Member Keenan Groesbeck said. “We just have to clean it up and iron it all out and I think we can move forward on it.


    “But not at this time. (There is) more conversation that needs to be done with our Tax Commission and our Inter-Tribal Council to figure out … the language.”

    Eastern Shoshone Business Council Member John Washakie agreed that “we should perhaps hold both of these bills and have a further discussion down the road.”

    “I just think we need a little more time … to make some good decisions that are lasting decisions,” Washakie said. “I’m just not ready to do that.”

    The Tribal Relations Committee voted to table the tax bills until the next interim.


    Until then, Wyoming Sen. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, encouraged the Tribal officials who testified during the meeting to stay in touch with the committee “as you develop suggestions and ideas.”

    “Then we can start talking about how we draft legislation that reflects your priorities,” Barlow said. “What do we need to do to help advance this discussion so we can come to a meaningful policy resolution?”

    Local legislators on the Tribal Relations Committee are Wyoming Reps. Ember Oakley, R-Riverton, and Sarah Penn, R-Lander, and Wyoming Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander.


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