Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Tribes need tax revenue. States keep taking it.


December 22, 2022

OSAGE NATION — On a crisp November morning, Teresa Bates Rutherford gazed at the construction site of her future home — her mind on her tax struggle with the state of Oklahoma.

The trust land she is building on has passed down through generations of her family on the Osage Reservation, located in northeastern Oklahoma. The state and county have limited jurisdiction on her land — a protection that should extend to taxes, but too often doesn’t.

Rutherford knows the tax laws better than most. She sits on the Osage Nation’s Tax Commission Board. Every month, she and two other Osage women pore over tax records for the tribe. Many of those records deal with the state, she says, which always wants more tax revenue.


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