CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, November 17, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 3608, the Grand Portage Band Per Capita Adjustment Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 3608 was introduced by Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN) on November 21, 2013 and was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee, in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, and the Judiciary. The bill was marked up by the Natural Resources Committee on September 18, 2014 and was ordered reported by unanimous consent.
H.R. 3608 provides that certain payments made by the State of Minnesota to the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians pursuant to a treaty-related agreement are exempt from federal and state income taxes. In addition, the funds may not be used to determine eligibility for federal financial assistance.
 The payments are made pursuant to the Band’s agreement to voluntarily restrict tribal rights to hunt and fish in territory ceded under the Treaty of September 30, 1854.
In 1985, the Grand Portage Band filed a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota, alleging that the State refused to recognize the Band’s treaty rights to hunt and fish in territory ceded to the United States by the Band in the Treaty of September 30, 1854. A settlement agreement reached by the parties in 1988 provided for an annual payment by the State of Minnesota “in exchange for the Band’s willingness to forego the full exercise of its treaty rights.”
Legislation enacted in 2000 provided that similar payments to the Bois Forte Band were to be treated as income from trust resources. Bois Forte Band is a party to the same agreement with the State of Minnesota as the Grand Portage Band. H.R. 3608 amends federal law to ensure the payments to each band are treated uniformly for tax purposes.
 Testimony of Norman W. Deschampe before the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, July 29, 2014.
A CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.