Tax Facts

The people of Viejas want others to know that – as taxpaying Americans – they contribute their fair share.

Do Indian people pay taxes?

Individual American Indians and Alaska Natives and their individually owned businesses pay federal income tax just like every other American. The one exception is when an Indian person receives income directly from a treaty or trust resource such as fish or timber, that income is not federally taxed. States also cannot tax tribal members who live and derive their income on tribal lands.

How does Viejas pay and generate taxes?

• Members of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians pay income tax each year on their income.

• The 1,747 people the Viejas Band employs also pay federal and state taxes on $59.1 million in wages.

• On top of these taxes, the Viejas Band spends more than $70 million with over 4000 venders for goods and services annually, creating millions more in tax revenue from local businesses.

Do state and local governments pay taxes?

No, although federal, state, and local governments all operate revenue producing enterprises to provide supplemental revenues from the myriad of taxes and fees each imposes upon citizens. Among government revenue-producing enterprises are parks, zoos and other tourist attractions, water and power systems, toll roads and bridges, airports and ports, plus a whole host of other activities, which would be considered businesses if placed in the private sector. State governments also supplement their budgets with gambling revenues.

Do tribal governments pay federal taxes?

Tribal government revenues are not taxed, just like state and local government revenues are not. The federal government has never taxed governmental revenue of state, tribal or local governments. This is a long-standing federal policy with Constitutional support that prevents interference with the ability to raise revenue for government functions. Like state and local governments, tribal governments use their revenues to provide essential services for their citizens. Unlike state governments, tribal governments are not in a position to levy property or income taxes. Income from tribal businesses is the only non-federal revenue source.

Do tribal governments pay state taxes?

States cannot directly tax a tribal government. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that state governments can collect excise taxes on sales to non-members that occur on tribal lands, so long as the tax does not fall directly on the tribal government. States and tribes have developed a variety of methods for collecting these taxes, which most often take the form of intergovernmental agreements or pre-taxing at the wholesale level. The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, for example, voluntarily requires Viejas Outlet Center businesses to collect California Sales and Use Taxes which amount to millions of dollars to support state and local governments.