Mobile Ad Container

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Tulalip Tribes have reached an agreement that could end a federal lawsuit and allow it to begin collecting a portion of the tax receipts generated by the shopping center that borders its reservation.   

The agreement between the Tulalip Tribes, the state of Washington and Snohomish County is an important step to resolve a five-year legal battle over who is entitled to collect sales tax at the Quil Ceda Village shopping mall in Tulalip, Wash. Under the agreement, the Tribes would receive a cut of the state’s sales tax collected.  

As part of the agreement, the Tribes will invest $35 million to build a 48-be civil commitment center in Snohomish County.      

Terms of the agreement are contained in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the tribes, the county and the state. First, lawmakers need to grant Gov. Jay Inslee the authority to negotiate a tax-sharing compact with the Tulalips and other tribes in the state.  

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate held hearings last week to consider bills that would grant Inslee that authority.   

The Tulalip Tribes originally filed the suit to assert their sovereign rights and stop the state and country collecting sales tax at Quil Ceda Village. In 2018, after a federal judge ruled in favor of the state and county, the Tribes appealed the ruling.

Want more news about the $130 billion tribal economy? 

Tribal Business News publishes thoroughly reported and well-crafted stories about Native businesses and entrepreneurs, growth and expansion strategies, best practices, economic data, government policy and other relevant business news. Tribal Business News is required reading for tribal council members and leaders of Native businesses, as well as state and federal legislators, policymakers, economic developers, entrepreneurs, bankers, lawyers and anyone interested in doing business in Indian Country.

Sign up for our free newsletter to track Native business and the tribal economy.  Or sign up for a discounted subscription ($99/year — use coupon code "TBN21") to gain full 24/7/365 access to our business news reporting. Megwetch.