Dear Representatives Kind and Kelly:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 4054, the “Tribal Tax and Investment Reform Act,” which would support economic development throughout Indian Country by granting sovereign tribes many of the fiscal tools that states already possess.
This bipartisan legislation would provide parity for sovereign tribes relative to states in both bonding and pension plans. Regarding bonding, this bill would remove the “essential government function” test that applies only to sovereign tribes, thus ensuring tribes would be able to engage in economic activity for the benefit of their constituency just as states currently do. With respect to pension plans, H.R. 4054 would acknowledge Native American tribes as sovereign entities by providing “governmental” status to retirement plans they establish and maintain, promoting parity between states and sovereign tribes.
Lastly, H.R. 4054 would put tribal sovereigns on an equal footing with how states currently operate for certain tax purposes pertaining to charities, child support enforcement, and adoptions, which would further promote economic development within Indian Country - especially during this critical period of economic recovery.
The Chamber thanks you for your leadership on this important issue and looks forward to working with you as this bill advances through the legislative process.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the Committee on Ways and Means