September 16, 2010

Reservations = tax havens?

The Spoof website seems to like "satires" about Indians. Here's one that actually tells us something:

Wealthiest Americans Expected to Seek Asylum with Lakota Nation to Avoid Federal Taxes

By Charpa93At present, any United States citizen who fights the Federal Government over their right to withhold paying taxes is subject to fines, penalties and jail time. But, not if you become a Lakota Nation citizen. You are automatically exempt from paying taxes.This is what a lot of tax resisters seem to think. For instance, the people in Anti-Government Extremists Pose as "Indians"and Self-Proclaimed "Indian" Secedes from City. They stupidly think 1) they can declare themselves Indians and 2) that will exempt them from taxes.

But it isn't true. Even if they could become Indians, which they can't, they'd have to pay their taxes.

Indians pay all federal taxes and most state and local taxes. The only taxes they don't pay are state income taxes if they work on a reservation and local property taxes if they live on a reservation. Neither of these circumstances happens very often.

Resisters aren't the only ones who think reservations are tax havens. Most Americans think Indians are getting a free ride. Most Americans are ignorant about Indians because they believe what they see in the media.Unfortunately, the top 1% of the nation's citizens, those with the most wealth, and the very people who could care less about the plight of the Indians are the ones seeking to defect to the Lakota Nation if the Democrats continue to hold a majority in the House and Senate. This has presented the Lakota Nation with some hard choices to make. On the one hand, they stand to gain some of the greatest minds in the business world to bring them into the future. On the other hand, some of the lowest forms of human beings on the planet, predatory lenders, unscrupulous employers, narcissists, and sociopaths will become citizens alongside the nature abiding original peoples.This isn't a bad guess at what would happen if Indian tribes opened themselves to immigration--i.e., to non-Indian members. It would be the Dawes Act all over again. For every person who genuinely wanted to join an Indian culture, several hucksters would try to scam the Indians out of their land and resources.

For more on the subject, see The Facts About Tribal Sovereignty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you how SICK I am of this stereotype. Up until last month, I figured that no one really thought this but boy was I wrong. I went to buy a car and I told the sales people that according to State law, I was exempt from sales tax because I am Native and live on a reservation. They then proceeded to ask me if I paid federal income tax. I said of course who doesn't pay income tax? I was shocked.

Then I was asked a myriad number of questions relating to different stereotypes (i.e. "free money"). I think this thinking is what causes resentment towards Native people, because non-Natives think we have special privileges. I always say, 'It's your laws, your constitution that sets us apart'. Then non-Natives seem to get upset whenever Natives try to claim/use those rights.

I do have to add though, that I did set them right into how things actually are and they were pretty receptive, so that was good.