Business Privilege Tax




Table of Contents

700.001 Legislative Intent and Findings
700.010 Definitions. Wherever in this Chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears
700.020 Privilege Tax
700.030 Privilege Tax For Other Business
700.040 Privilege Tax Required For Each Different Business Activity
700.050 Persons Exempt from this Chapter 4
700.060 Period for Which Privilege is Operative; Revocation; Refunds
700.070 Impositions of License Conditions by The Confederated Tribes 4
700.080 Enforcement of Tax Payments
700.090 Use of Tax Revenues
700.100 Tribal Tax Commission
700.110 Savings Clause




700.001 Legislative Intent and Findings. It is the intent of the Tribal Council enacting this Chapter that the sovereign taxing powers of the Confederated Tribes be exercised fairly and in accordance with the laws of the United States. This Chapter is intended to fully exercise the power of the Tribal Council pursuant to Article V, §1(g), as amended, of the Constitution of the Confederated Tribes to provide for assessments and license fees upon non–members doing business within the Reservation. The Tribal Council expressly finds that the policy of Indian self–determination is a wise policy and vital to its implementation is the judicious exercise of the Tribes’ power to tax. The Tribal Council also expressly finds that without the exercise of such authority it is not possible to provide the governmental services essential to persons, both Indian and non–Indian, on the Reservation. It is the intent that all tax revenues received by the Tribes be used for the provision of essential governmental services and not be distributed to individual members of the Tribes on a per capita basis. Finally, the Council finds that the taxes levied under this Chapter will more equitably distribute the burden of financing governmental services between all persons engaged in business activities on the Reservation and benefiting from those services, including both members and non–members of the Tribes. Members currently bear the burden of providing most governmental services through the expenditure of tribal earnings for this purpose. It has long been the policy of the Tribes that the majority of tribal earnings be expended for governmental services rather than distributed as per capita payments to members.

700.010 Definitions. Wherever in this Chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears:

  1. “Persons” mean any individual, receiver, assignee, Trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, co–partnership, joint venture, club company, joint stock company, business trust, corporation, association, society or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, fraternal, non–profit or otherwise. The term applies only to non–members of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. The term does not include the Confederated Tribes, the United States, and their employees and agents while engaged in their official duties.
  2. “Business” includes all activities engaged in with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage to the taxpayer or to another person or class, directly or indirectly.
  3. “Engaged in Business” means commencing, conducting, or continuing in business and also the exercise of corporate or franchise powers, as well as liquidating a business when the liquidators thereof hold themselves out to the public as conducting such business.
  4. “General Mercantile Business” includes the sale of groceries, dry goods, bottled drinks, meats, hardware and sporting goods.
  5. “Public Utility” includes a person operating on the Warm Springs Reservation, for hire or sale on or off the Warm Springs Reservation, a plant or system for the distribution of water or natural, artificial or mixed gas, for the generation, production, or distribution of electric energy, for conducting a telephone and/or telegraph business, for operating a community television antenna system, for the transportation, sale and delivery of steam for heating purposes, and for steam power, and for the operation of any transportation system for the conveyance of persons and/or property.
  6. “Engaging in Buying and Selling” means: (a) A person, with no fixed place of business, who carries goods, wares, or merchandise with him, and sells and offers to sell them by personal solicitation, and delivers them at the time he solicits business. (b) A person who travels from place to place soliciting, or taking orders for, the purchase, sale, or trade of goods, wares, or merchandise, or intangible property to be delivered in the future also. (c) A person buying, selling or trading cattle or livestock, or offering to buy, or sell, or trade any cattle or livestock, either for himself or for some other person.
  7. “Professions” means persons engaged in the business of rendering any type of professional service for which a license is required by the United States or the State of Oregon.
  8. “Gross Receipts” means those revenues received by a business arising out of transactions or operations conducted on or partially on the Warm Springs Reservation. Where transactions or operations are conducted only partially on the Reservation an equitable allocation of gross receipts between taxable and non– taxable receipts shall be made by the Commission.
  9. “Commission” means the Tribal Tax Commission established by WSTC 700.100.
  10. “Reservation” means the Warm Springs Indian Reservation established by the Treaty of June 25, 1855 (93 Stat. 865).

700.020 Privilege Tax.

  1. There may be levied and collected from every person a tax for the act or privilege of engaging in business activities within the Reservation for each business within the following classifications: (a) For the operation of a general mercantile business. (b) For operating a garage for the repair of automobiles, trucks, tractors, and the like. (c) For the operation of a gasoline service station, including grease rack, sale of tires, and tubes and auto accessories. (d) For operating motels or cabins. (e) For operating hotels or rooming houses. (f) For the operation of a bath house, swimming pool or other bathing or swimming facilities. (g) For the operation of freezer lockers and cold storage plants. (h) For engaging in buying and selling. (i) For persons practicing a profession. (j) For the operation of a restaurant, cafe, or business otherwise dispensing food and beverages for consumption on premises. (k) For running, pasturing, or otherwise maintaining upon the reservation any cattle or other livestock. (l) For operation of a public utility. (m) For a manufacturing business. (n) For the sale of policies of insurance.
  2. The Tribal Tax Commission of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon may establish an appropriate privilege tax for each of the above classifications of business. For businesses described in subsection (1) of this section, other than those provided for in subsection (3) of this section, the tax established by the Commission shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the gross receipts of the business.
  3. For the following businesses a tax may be levied by the Commission as indicated: (a) For persons engaging in the running, pasturing, or otherwise maintaining cattle or other livestock on the Reservation under special permit a tax not to exceed 50¢ per head per month. (b) For a public utility engaged in the generation or production of electrical energy on the Reservation, a tax not to exceed 1¢ per kilowatt hour of energy generated. In determining the amount of tax to be levied, the Commission shall take into account, when not all of the generating project is within the external boundaries of the Reservation, the relative contribution of Reservation versus non–Reservation lands to the project. (c) For a manufacturing business one–half of one percent (1%) of the fair market value of all goods manufactured at their point of manufacture. (d) 1For the sale and/or use of gasoline and diesel fuel on the Reservation, a tax not to exceed 20 cents per gallon.
  4. A license shall be issued to each person upon whom a tax is levied containing the conditions under which the business may be operated. The license may be amended from time to time as needed by the Commission.

700.030 Privilege Tax For Other Business. All persons engaging in a business other than those specifically mentioned in this Chapter may be taxed for the act or privilege of engaging in such business activities within the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and may be required to pay a privilege tax not to exceed $25.00 per annum.

700.040 Privilege Tax Required For Each Different Business Activity. Every person engaging in more than one taxable activity under this Chapter shall be required to pay the taxes required for each kind of business activity in which that person engages..

700.050 Persons Exempt from this Chapter. The United States, the Confederated Tribes, and their agents and employees while engaged in official duties within the scope of their employment or agency are exempted from the provisions of this Chapter.

700.060 Period for Which Privilege is Operative; Revocation; Refunds. The Privilege Tax provided for herein shall be for the privilege of operating on the Reservation for the period specified in the license. The tax shall be paid to the Tribal Treasurer in accordance with the schedule established by the Commission. The privilege to operate a business on the Reservation may be denied by the Tribal Council to any person and may be revoked for cause, after a full hearing, prior to the expiration of the period for which it was issued, and in that event, such person is entitled to a refund on a prorated basis for that period of time for which the privilege was revoked. The privilege tax for businesses operating at the time of enactment of this Chapter may be levied by the Commission retroactive to the date of enactment of this Chapter. The failure of any person to pay the tax imposed herein within ninety days after it is due constitutes a breach of the privilege of doing business within the Reservation and such person shall no longer be entitled to engage in business within the Warm Springs Reservation and may be expelled as a trespasser. Additionally, such other steps may be taken by the Tribal Council as may be necessary to prevent such person from engaging in business on the Reservation.

700.070 Impositions of License Conditions by The Confederated Tribes. The Confederated Tribes may impose such conditions upon the issuance of a license as it may see fit. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, the time, place, and manner of conducting business, and the items to be sold. Failure of the licensee to abide by the conditions shall because for the merchandise and equipment of the licensee located on the Reservation to be seized by the Confederated Tribes to be held as security for payment of any fines or unpaid taxes due to the Tribes.

700.080 Enforcement of Tax Payments. In the event a person fails to pay a tax when due an action may be brought by the Tribes in the Warm Springs Tribal Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction for the payment of such tax. The Tribal Court is empowered to grant a judgment for any tax due and unpaid, together with interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum from the time the payment is due until paid. In addition, the United States government as Trustee for the Tribes, shall be entitled to maintain an action for payment of any taxes due in the Tribal Court or other court of competent jurisdiction.

700.90 Use of Tax Revenues.

  1. All tax revenues collected pursuant to this chapter shall be expended to provide governmental services to persons present on the Reservation. The Tribal Council may authorize the distribution of tax revenues to other governmental entities providing essential governmental services to the Reservation.
  2. No tax revenues collected pursuant to this chapter may be distributed to members of the Tribes on a per capita basis.

700.100 Tribal Tax Commission.

  1. There is hereby established the Tribal Tax Commission. The Commission shall consist of five members. The members are the Secretary–Treasurer of the Tribes; the Chairman of the Tribal Council; the First Vice–Chairman of the Tribal Council; and two members appointed by the Tribal Council for a term of three years, such terms to be staggered with one term ending one year after the term of the Tribal Council begins and one term ending two years after the term of the Tribal Council begins.
  2. The Commission is empowered to determine, levy, and collect all taxes authorized by this chapter.
  3. The Commission is authorized to employ and consult with such advisors regarding its duties as may be deemed necessary.
  4. The Commission shall establish such rules as are necessary to carry out the orderly performance of its duties. Such rules shall provide for a hearing for all interested persons before a tax for a particular classification is established or adjusted. Such rules shall provide for reasonable notice to interested persons of the hearing and their right to present testimony.
  5. At the hearing interested persons and persons affected shall have the right to present testimony. Affected persons shall have the right to petition the Tribal Council for review of Commission findings, including determinations regarding proper apportionment. The Council may, by motion, affirm the determination of the Commission or refer the matter back to the Commission with further instructions.
  6. Prior to determination of a particular tax the Commission shall cause to be conducted an “Economic Impact Study” analyzing the economic impact of the proposed tax on relevant persons. The findings of such a study shall be considered by the Commission in determining the tax.
  7. All taxes determined prior to the enactment of this Chapter pursuant to Ordinance 32 shall remain in full force and effect until a different tax shall be determined by the Commission.

700.110 Savings Clause. In the event that any provision of this Chapter shall be found or declared to be invalid, the remaining provisions of this Chapter shall be unaffected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect.

1 WSTC 700.020(3)(d) was added on October 20, 1986 by Resolution No. 7296.