Law Seminars International Presents

An advanced two-day conference on

Tax Management for Tribes

Navigating the legal landscape of business on tribal lands

February 21 & 22, 2008
Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, WA
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Who Should Attend

Attorneys, tribal, industry and governmental representatives, non-tribal businesses interested in doing business with tribes and financial institution executives

Why Attend

Business activity is rapidly growing and diversifying on many Indian reservations. This has significant tax implications for Indian tribes balancing the need to encourage business development with that of generating revenue to support tribal governmental programs, private parties currently engaged in or investigating business opportunities on Indian reservations, and governments at the federal, state and local levels. For attorneys, tribal, industry and governmental representatives, non-tribal businesses interested in doing business with tribes and financial institution executives, this conference offers a comprehensive view of the current state of tribal taxation. The first day will cover in depth on-reservation jurisdictional issues, IRS auditing of tribal payments, the effects of state taxation on preservations, designing and administering tax programs, and coming legislative changes, both state and federal. The second day will highlight strategies for establishing and financing tribal business entities, conducting non-tribal business on tribal lands, resolving tax disputes with tribal entities, and specific tribal excise taxes. ~ Program Co-Chairs: Michael P. O'Connell, Esq. and Susan M. Williams, Esq.

What You Will Learn

On-reservation tax jurisdiction--federal, tribal and state Current IRS tribal payment audits Possesory interest taxation of on-reservation rights-of-way Washington and Oregon tribal tax issues Designing and administering tribal tax programs Prospective federal and state legislative changes Forming and financing tribal business entities Conducting non-tribal business on tribal lands Resolving tax disputes with tribal entities Motor vehicle fuel, hotel and timber excise taxes Case Study: Quil Ceda Village, a new breed of tribal municipality


Thursday, February 21, 2008

8:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 am Introduction to Day 1: The Legal Landscape and Tribal Tax Strategies
  Michael P. O'Connell, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Stoel Rives LLP / Seattle, WA
  Susan M. Williams, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Williams & Works, P.A. / Corrales, NM
8:45 am Overview of Federal, Tribal and State Taxation Authority on Indian Reservations
  Robert Anderson, Esq., Director, Native American Law Center
University of Washington School of Law / Seattle, WA
9:30 am The Current Dispute Over IRS Audit of Payments to Tribal Members
  A case study of the IRS' Office of Indian Tribal Goverments (ITG) recent audit of per capita tribal payments
  Mary J. Streitz, Esq.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP / Minneapolis, MN
10:15 am Break
10:30 am Tribal Jurisdiction to Impose Possesory Interest Taxes on On-Reservation Rights-of-Way
  Case study of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad litigation
  Susan M. Williams, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Williams & Works, P.A. / Corrales, NM
11:15 am Legal Structure and Current State-Level Issues
  Washington: Sales tax and other issues
  Leslie Ann Cushman, Esq.
Washington Department of Revenue / Olympia, WA
  Oregon: State income tax and its effects on tribal members living on and near reservations
  Karen S. Gregory, Deputy Director
Oregon Department of Revenue / Salem, OR
  Tom S. Stinnette, Audit Manager
Oregon Department of Revenue / Salem, OR
12:30 pm Lunch (On your own)
1:45 pm Case Study: The Consolidated Borough of Quil Ceda Village
  The new breed of tribal municipalities; municipal tax codes and tribes as taxing authorities
  Nina Reece, Village Clerk
The Consolidated Borough of Quil Ceda Village / Tulalip, WA
2:30 pm Tribal Tax Policy, Administration and Enforcement Issues
  Case study of Navajo taxation program
  Mark C. Graham, Esq., Tax Reporting & Collections Supervisor
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community / Scottsdale, AZ
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Prospects for Fundamental Legislative Changes
  Federal legislative prospects: challenges and solutions to tribal tax jurisdiction and on-reservation combined tax burdens; federal tax incentives for Indian economic development, including energy subsidization
  Eric D. Eberhard, Esq.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP / Seattle, WA
  State legislative prospects: Conforming Washington's tax structure to the streamlined sales and use tax agreement: Provisions of HB 1072 and SB 5089 from the 2007 session; supporters and opponents and their arguments
  Craig A. Bill, Director
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs / Olympia, WA
5:00 pm Reception for Faculty and Attendees
  Sponsored by Stoel Rives LLP and Williams & Works, P.A.

Friday, February 22, 2008

8:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 am Introduction to Day 2: Strategies for Transactions between Tribes and Non-Tribal Entities
  Michael P. O'Connell, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Stoel Rives LLP / Seattle, WA
  Susan M. Williams, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Williams & Works, P.A. / Corrales, NM
8:45 am Effective Tax Strategies for Establishing and Financing Tribal Business Entities
  Selecting the type of entity: the pros and cons of LLC's Section 17 Corporations, chartered non-profits and tribal government entities
  Sarah S. Works, Esq.
Williams & Works, P.A. / Corrales, NM
  Selecting the type of financing: best bonding practices; conduit financing and what qualifies as an exempt governmental activity
  Patrick G. Boylston, Esq.
Stoel Rives LLP / Portland, OR
10:15 am Break
10:30 am Non-Tribal Business Development on Tribal Lands
  Tax neutrality agreements: When a non-tribal entity would be exposed to both tribal and state/local taxes, how do you structure an agreement so that the tribe agrees not to enforce its tax to the extent the non-tribal taxes do not go away?
  Michael P. O'Connell, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Stoel Rives LLP / Seattle, WA
  Leasehold taxes: Dealing with Washington's statute making non-tribal lessees liable for taxes when paying fair market rent; strategies for making that go away
  Kelly S. Croman, Esq., General Counsel
Marine View Ventures, Inc. / Tacoma, WA
11:30 am Resolving Tax Disputes with Tribal Entities
  Does the tribe have a tax administration code? If not, what do you want in a contractual process? When do you get to court?
  Debora G. Juarez, Esq.
Williams, Kastner & Gibbs PLLC / Seattle, WA
12:15 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Quick Takes on Special Commodities and Business Activities
  Motor vehicle fuel taxes
  Cory J. Albright, Esq.
Kanji & Katzen PLLC / Seattle, WA
  Hotel taxes
  James Rittenhouse Bellis, Esq., Senior Attorney, Legal Department
Suquamish Tribe / Suquamish, WA
  Timber excise taxes
  Michael M. Moran, Owner, CEO
Moran Public Affairs LLC / Olympia, WA
3:00 pm Evaluations and Adjourn


Regular tuition for this program is $895 with a group rate of $795 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $695. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $447.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Cancellation & Substitution

You may substitute another person at any time. We will refund tuition, less a $50 cancellation fee, if we receive your cancellation by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2008. After that time, we will credit your tuition toward attendance at another program or the purchase of a Homestudy. There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders.

Continuing Education Credits

This program qualifies for 11.25 WA CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


The conference will be held at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel at 515 Madison St. in Seattle, WA 98104. A special negotiated rate of $159 is available for on-line reservations only on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to to reserve. Use Corporate Code L64. If you have additional questions about the hotel, contact them directly at (206) 583-0300. Rooms are on a first come, first served basis.
More about the Location
Map & Directions

If You Cannot Attend

Our complete Homestudy Course, consisting of a VHS or DVD recording and the written course materials, is available for $905. The written course materials alone are available for $100. We will ship your Homestudy order via UPS ground within two weeks after the seminar or the date we receive payment (whichever is later).
Order Homestudy

Faculty Bios

Michael P. O'Connell, Program Co-chair, partner at Stoel Rives LLP, advises on permitting for energy and other projects on and outside Indian reservations, leases, construction contracts, and other business transactions with Indian tribes. Previously, he was General Counsel to the Hopi Tribe.

Susan M. Williams, Program Co-Chair, shareholder in Williams & Works, P.A., focuses on legislative affairs, water law, litigation and business negotiations. She successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and is the national Co-Chair of the Tribal Sovereignty Initiative.

Cory J. Albright, associate at Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, represents tribal governments in litigation regarding implementation and enforcement of treaty rights and jurisdictional disputes. He also advises tribal governments regarding the potential impacts of federal and state policies.

Robert Anderson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law, is Director of the School of Law's Native American Law Center and of counsel to Kanji & Katzen P.L.L.C. He has previously worked for the Native American Rights Fund and the Department of the Interior.

James "Rit" Rittenhouse Bellis, Senior Attorney with the Suquamish Tribe Legal Department, has served as Staff Attorney to the Arizona Tax Court, Tax Attorney for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and as general practitioner of federal Indian law for the Navajo Nation, the Confederated Tribes of Colville Reservation and the Suquamish Tribe.

Craig A. Bill, Director of the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, serves as advisor on tribal issues and liaison between the State of Washington and tribal organizations. Previously he was Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Lummi Nation.

Patrick G. Boylston, partner at Stoel Rives LLP, concentrates in the areas of public law and finance and commercial finance. He has handled bond issues of every type, including general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, advance refunding bonds, water and sewer bonds, and school district bonds.

Kelly S. Croman serves as General Counsel to Marine View Ventures, Inc., the wholly-owned economic development corporation of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Previously she was in-house counsel to the Squaxin Island Tribe where she focused on economic development, governmental relations, and tribal tax issues.

Leslie Ann Cushman is the Deputy Director for the Department of Revenue and the agency's Tribal Liaison and has been involved in tribal issues at the Department since 1995.

Eric D. Eberhard is a partner in Dorsey & Whitney LLP's Indian and Gaming Law Practice Group. Previously, he was Deputy Attorney General of the Navajo Nation, the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation's Washington Office and Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Mark C. Graham is the Tax Reporting & Collections Supervisor for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community where he administers a four-tax program. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for the Office of the Navajo Tax Commission administering a seven-tax program.

Karen S. Gregory, Deputy Director of Oregon's Department of Revenue, was previously the Department's Property Tax Administrator. Prior to working at the Department of Revenue she was Deputy Director and Interim Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Debora G. Juarez, Of Counsel with Williams, Kastner & Gibbs PLLC, counsels tribes on issues including debt financing, corporate structure, economic development and tribal-state inter-local agreements. She also advises non-tribal entities on doing business with tribes and was named a "Top Lawyer" by Seattle Magazine.

Michael M. Moran, owner and CEO of Moran Public Affairs LLC, was instrumental in passing recent Quinault Timber Excise Tax state legislation. He has successfully lobbied for tribal governments on property tax, cigarette tax and other state-level issues.

Nina Reece is City Adminstrator and Tax Analyst for Quil Ceda Village, a chartered political sub-division of the Tulalip Tribes. She has been instrumental in developing the Village's Ordinances and Municipal Code.

Tom S. Stinnette, Audit Manager for Oregon's Department of Revenue, has worked in almost all of the tax programs administered by the Department. Currently he leads a team specializing in Native American tax issues.

Mary J. Streitz, partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, represents Indian tribes, tribal entities, tribal members and entities doing business with tribes in all types of federal, state and tribal tax matters including tax exemptions, business and investment tax planning and compliance with a variety of federal and state tax laws.

Sarah S. Works, Managing Attorney at Williams & Works, P.A., specializes in tribal business law and tribal corporate affairs, including Indian gaming enterprises, reservation-based economic development and tribal energy and utilities development. She served as Attorney General for the Hualapai Nation and Yavapai-Apache Nation.