Law Seminars International Presents:

An advanced two-day comprehensive conference on current

Tax Strategies for Tribes

Tribal taxation developments with practical tips for developing and implementing effective Tribal taxation strategies

February 10 & 11, 2020

Seattle, WA
Regrettably, we've had to cancel this program

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Program Overview

Who Should Attend

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

Why You Should Attend

Business activity is rapidly growing and diversifying on many Indian reservations. At the same time, recent tax law changes have created a stop-and-think moment for Tribes desiring to most effectively pursue economic development opportunities and develop sustainable Tribal economies.

This conference offers a comprehensive review of federal and state Tribal taxation policies including case law updates on recent significant cases. The first day will include discussions of federal tax incentives, ways to take advantage of provisions relating to Opportunity Zones on Tribal lands, and tax strategies for general welfare programs. We'll also cover state level taxation policy trends.

For the second day, we'll have extensive discussions focusing on practical tips for developing Tribal tax codes and the role of tax strategies for effectively building sustainable Tribal economies.

Take advantage of this opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of, a diverse group of leading experts in the area of Tribal taxation. There will be a reception at the end of the first day for networking and discussion of the issues in an informal setting.

Register soon to reserve your seat. We hope to see you there!

~ Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Esq. of Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt and Mary J. Streitz, Esq. of Dorsey & Whitney, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Current federal, Tribal and state taxation authority
  • Tribal taxation case law update
  • Federal tax incentives
  • Creating Opportunity Zones in Indian Country
  • General welfare programs and deferred taxation strategies
  • National state taxation policy trends
  • Policy priorities and objectives in the State of Washington
  • Strategies for dealing with state and local tax issues and agencies
  • Development of Tribal tax codes
  • Tax strategies for building a sustained Tribal economy

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "This is one of the best conferences I have ever attended. The content was excellent, as were presentations."
  • "These speakers just get better & better."
  • "Overall, truly a good conference!"

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt / Seattle, WA

Mary J. Streitz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Dorsey & Whitney / Minneapolis, MN

8:45 am

Taxation in Indian Country

Overview of current federal, Tribal and state taxation authority on Indian reservations

Mary J. Streitz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Dorsey & Whitney / Minneapolis, MN

9:30 am

Federal Tax Incentives: Processes and Requirements

Tips for navigating the processes and complying with the requirements

Townsend Hyatt, Esq.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe / Portland, OR

10:15 am


10:30 am

Federal Tax Incentives (cont'd): New IRS Regulations Relating to Opportunity Zones in Indian Country

Initial rules; prospects for revisions; opportunities for Tribal Treasury-supported investments in distressed communities; opportunities and strategies, including private sector partnerships; dealing with the impact of the loss of accelerated depreciation

Tasha Repp , National Practice Leader, Tribal & Gaming
Moss Adams LLP / Bellingham, WA

Johanna Bartee , Executive Director
JST Capital / Sequim, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Tax Case Law Updates

Tulalip Tribe v. State of Washington and other notable tax cases

Chloe Thompson Villagomez, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Renton, WA

2:15 pm

General Welfare Programs and Deferred Taxation Strategies

Tax planning to optimize opportunities for providing tax-favored benefits to Tribal members

Wendy S. Pearson, Esq.
Hobbs Straus / Seattle, WA

Julie R. Wilkerson, Esq. , Tribal Attorney
Jena Band of Choctaw Indians / Trout, LA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Tribes and State or Local Taxation

National state policy trends and effective Tribal approaches to managing relationships with state and local governments

Briana Coyle Jones, Esq.
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn / Seattle, WA

Tribal perspective on strategies for dealing with state and local tax issues and agencies

Philip Harju, Esq. , Vice-Chairman and General Counsel
Cowlitz Indian Tribe / Longview, WA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Dorsey & Whitney and Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

8:30 am

Exercising Tribal Taxing Authority and Dual Taxation Issues

Tribal tax codes: Tips for developing a tribal taxation strategy that affirms Tribal sovereignty and seeks to place Tribes in a more favorable position to pursue economic and community development projects

Mary J. Streitz, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Dorsey & Whitney / Minneapolis, MN

Robert G. Keller , Treasurer
Gila River Indian Community / Sacaton, AZ

Kendall R. Fisher, Esq.
Dorsey & Whitney / Seattle, WA

9:45 am

Tribal tax policy priorities and objectives in the State of Washington

Craig A. Bill , Director
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs / Olympia, WA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Effective Tax Strategies for Building a Sustainable Tribal Economy: The Integrated Issues that go into Planning for Economic Development

Perspectives on the best approaches, including the pros and cons for negotiating compacts with state and local governments to establish guidelines and dispute resolution procedures

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt / Seattle, WA

Tommy Miller, Esq.
Methow Law / Elmer City, WA

Shana Barehand, Esq. , Business Diversity Outreach Manager
Washington State Dept of Enterprise Services / Olympia, WA

William M. Lettig , National Executive, Native American Financial Services
Key Bank / Bellevue, WA

Bruce Zimmerman , Tax Administrator
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation / Pendleton, OR

12:30 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Program Co-Chair, is of counsel at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. She works with Tribal governments and Tribal entities to achieve self-governance and economic development goals while protecting tribal resources and sovereignty.

Mary J. Streitz, Mary J. Streitz, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney and Co-Chair of the Indian and Gaming practice group. She represents Indian tribes, Tribal entities, tribal members, and entities doing business with Tribes in all types of federal, state, and Tribal tax matters.

Shana Barehand Shana Barehand is the Business Diversity Outreach Manager for the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. She previously served as the Tribal Liaison for the Washington Department of Revenue.

Johanna Bartee Johanna Bartee is Executive Director of JST Capital. It is the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a nonprofit that will create new economic opportunities like investing in infrastructure and building major centers for trade and commerce that will benefit the entire community.

Craig A. Bill Craig A. Bill is Director of the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs. He serves as an advisor on Tribal issues and liaison between the State of Washington and Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations.

Kendall R. Fisher, Kendall R. Fisher, Dorsey & Whitney, is an an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. He counsels Indian Tribes and Tribal entities on a wide array of corporate and tax matters.

Philip Harju Philip Harju is Vice-Chairman and General Counsel for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. He previously served as a Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Townsend Hyatt Townsend Hyatt is a partner at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. He works with Indian Tribal governments and business enterprises around the country on a variety of projects that include land acquisitions, health clinics, schools, government buildings, cultural centers, infrastructure development, Tribal housing, parks and recreation facilities, manufacturing plants, casino resorts, and conference and entertainment facilities.

Briana Coyle Jones, Briana Coyle Jones, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, played a lead role in drafting an amicus curiae brief submitted on behalf of 15 tribes in Automotive United Trades Organization v. State of Washington. That Washington State Supreme Court decision upheld the constitutionality of tribal-state fuel tax compacts..

Robert G. Keller Robert G. Keller is the Treasurer for the Gila River Indian Community.

William M. Lettig William M. Lettig is the National Executive for Native American Financial Services at Key Bank.

Tommy Miller Tommy Miller founded Methow Law on the principle that as Tribes continue to grow on the national and international stages, it is more important than ever for Tribes to build a strong foundation at home, and make the most effective use of their economic and legal sovereignty.

Wendy S. Pearson Wendy S. Pearson is of counsel at Hobbs Straus. A former IRS attorney, she represents Tribal Governments and their enterprises on a wide range of complex transactional and compliance matters, including tax planning to optimize opportunities for providing tax-favored benefits to tribal members.

Tasha Repp Tasha Repp is the National Practice Leader, Tribal & Gaming for the accounting firm of Moss Adams LLP. She provides accounting and auditing services to Tribal governments and their related entities, focusing on giving her clients a practical, clear understanding of audit results to help them improve their operations.

Chloe Thompson Villagomez Chloe Thompson Villagomez has represented tribes and tribal entities exclusively since 2005. Most recently, she served as head of the Legal Department for the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University School of Law.

Julie R. Wilkerson Julie R. Wilkerson is Tribal Attorney for the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians. She advises the Tribal Council on all legal issues, including Class II and Class III gaming, compact negotiations, fee to trust applications, sovereign immunity and limited waivers, developing tribal law, Federal court decisions, intergovernmental agreements, general contracts, and loan documents.

Bruce Zimmerman Bruce Zimmerman is the Tax Administrator for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR).


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Columbia Center

701 Fifth Ave in Seattle, WA 98104

The conference will be held at the Columbia Center at 701 Fifth Ave in Seattle, WA 98104. Lodging is available at a number of nearby hotels. Our thanks to Dorsey & Whitney for graciously hosting this event.
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