THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BEING PROVIDED AS A REMINDER TO TRIBAL MEMBERS OF THE TERMS OF THE TRIBAL-STATE TAX AGREEMENT AND LIMITATIONS ON SOME OF TAX EXEMPTIONS PROVIDED FOR UNDER THE AGREEMENT.
IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR TAX EXEMPTIONS OR WHAT EXEMPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE, PLEASE CONTACT THE NHBP LEGAL DEPARTMENT
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Am I a Resident Tribal Member?
A “Resident Tribal Member” defined in the Tax Agreement is a Tribal Member whose principal place of residence is located within his or her Tribe’s Agreement Area.
The Tax Agreement the Tribe negotiated with the State of Michigan designated sections of Calhoun County and Branch County as the “Tax Agreement Area”. Tribal Members whose principal place of residence is located within the “Tax Agreement Area” are eligible for certain tax exemptions that would typically only apply to Tribal Members who live on Reservation or “trust” lands. These Tribal Members are referred to as “Resident Tribal Members”. In order to qualify for Resident Tribal Member exemptions you must be on the official list of “Resident Tribal Members”. This means you must have a current address on file with the Tribe’s Enrollment Office that is within the Tax Agreement Area. The list of Resident Tribal Members on file with the Michigan Department of Treasury is updated by the Tribe every month, so please try to keep the Enrollment Department informed of any change in your address.
- If you live in, or recently moved to, Calhoun or Branch County, and: (1) Do not know if your home is located in the “Tax Agreement Area”; or (2) Do not know if you are on the list of “Resident Tribal Members”, please contact either Bill Brooks or Rebecca Griffin at the Tribal Government Center: 1485 Mno-Bmadzewen Way, Fulton, MI 49052; 269-729-5151; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you can provide the survey section of your property/street address, we can make the determination.
- If you are moving and want to confirm your new resident address qualifies for the “Tax Agreement Area”, please contact either Bill Brooks or Rebecca Griffin. A map of the tax agreement area is available online at: nhbpi.com in the pull down menu under “For Our Support” in the “Legal” section (bottom of page).
Tax Benefits for Resident Tribal Members
The following is a list of some of tax benefits that are available to Tribal Members who live in the Tax Agreement Area:
- Exempt from Michigan Income Tax for wages/salaries/per capita payments/dividends
- Can apply for a refund of MI Income Tax withheld when you file your State Income Tax Return.
- Exempt from Michigan Sales/Use Tax on your home utility bills (i.e. gas, electric, cable, propane).
- If Michigan Sales/Use taxes are showing up on your utility bills, please contact Rebecca Griffin at the Tribal Office. Provide Rebecca with a copy of your bill/invoice from your gas/electric/propane, telephone, cable/satellite, and cellular phone providers. We can then follow up with Michigan Treasury representatives to work to get the taxes off future bills.
- Refunds of Sales/Use Tax for Certain Purchases:
- If you have purchased a new/used vehicle, boat, snowmobile, trailer, you are eligible for a refund of all or 50% of the Michigan Sales/Use Tax paid when you purchased/registered the title. In order to qualify, the car/truck, boat, snowmobile must be used for personal use. If a non-NHBP Member spouse or other person is listed as co-owner on either your Title or in your financing documents, you will only be entitled to receive a refund of 50% of the tax paid.
- Additionally, if you are planning to build a new home, addition to your home or perform other significant repairs/improvements to your home, you may be eligible to apply to receive a refund of the sales/use taxes paid on building materials and fixtures (i.e. windows; water heaters; furnaces).
- If one of these situations applies to you, or if you are contemplating making one of these purchases/undertaking one of these projects, please contact Rebeca Griffin and she can assist you in determining whether you do/will qualify for a refund and how to apply.
- Motor Fuels/Tobacco Tax Purchases:
- Motor Fuels: Just a reminder: If you have not registered the vehicles in your household (the ones you fill up with tax exempt motor fuels) or if you have purchased a new vehicle, please remember to get a Registration for Tribal Member Tax Exemption Form to Rebecca. If you no longer own a vehicle that was registered for tax exempt fuel purchases, please contact Rebecca to have the vehicle removed from the list. The Registration for Tribal Member Tax Exemption Form is available online at nhbpi.com in the pull down menu under “For Our Support” in the “Legal” section (bottom of page).
- The Tax Agreement requires the Tribe (and the cashiers at gas stations) to maintain the log book that has your name, Tribal ID, license plate number and signature. Please cooperate with station personnel in completing the log and be respectful. They are doing what is legally required and the Folk Oil/Convenience King station owners, and their staff, are providing this service to the Tribe and its Members. If their staff is disrespected, they have every right to suspend/terminate this service and Tribal Members may lose the ability to purchase tax exempt motor fuels.
- Tobacco Products: Finally, a number of Tribal Members appear to be purchasing cigarettes for others. Please be aware that exempt tobacco products can only be purchased for personal use by Tribal Members. Purchasing tax-free cigarettes for non-Tribal Members is illegal. If you are purchasing cigarettes for another Tribal Member relative, please contact Rebecca Griffin to obtain a Limited Power of Attorney form.
- The Tribe is obligated to monitor and enforce the restrictions on sales of tax exempt tobacco products and tax exempt motor fuels. If abuses are occurring and allowed to continue, the State of Michigan could terminate the Tax Agreement and all of these benefits could be lost.
On February 21, 2013, NHBP Tribal Council approved an Enforcement Program on the Tax Exempt Motor Fuel and Tax Exempt Tobacco Products Purchases. Tribal Members making purchases that are in violation of the NHBP Title X-03 – Sale of Tobacco Products Code and NHBP Title X-04 – Motor Fuels Sales Code, may have their purchasing privileges suspended and/or penalties assessed.[/wc_column][wc_column size=”one-fourth” position=”last”]
If you have questions regarding the Tax Agreement, please contact by email: Bill Brooks: firstname.lastname@example.org or Rebecca Griffin: email@example.com; or by phone 269-729-5151; or by mail NHBP, Attn: Bill Brooks, 1485 Mno-Bmadzewen Way, Fulton, MI 49052.