Resident Tribal Members

  • Definition of Resident Tribal Member. The Tax Agreement between the State of Michigan and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians defines a “Resident Tribal Member” as a Tribal Member whose principal place of residence is located within the Agreement Area. The Agreement Area includes both the 1836 Reservation (Manistee Reservation) and the 1855 Reservation (Custer and Eden Townships in Mason County).
  • Definition of Agreement Area. The Agreement Area per the Tax Agreement is:
    • The portion of Manistee County that includes:
      Survey sections 24, 25, 35, and 36 in T22N, R17W; survey sections 19-36 in T22N, R16W; survey sections 19-36 in T22N, R15W; survey sections 19-36 in T22N, R14W; survey sections 19-21 and 28-33 in T22N, R13W; survey sections 1-3 and 10-15 in T21N, R17W; survey sections 1-18 in T21N, R16W: survey sections 1-18 in T21N, R15W; survey sections 1-18 in T21N, R14W; and survey sections 4-9 and 16-18 in T21N, R13W; and
    • The portion of Mason County that includes:
      T18N, R16W; and T17N, R16W.
  • How does a Tribal Member become a Resident Tribal Member? To become a Resident Tribal Member, a Little River Band Tribal Member must live within the Tax Agreement Area AND be registered with the Tax Department. The Tax Department maintains a list of Resident Tribal Members based on their physical address of record. Tribal members moving to an address within the Tax Agreement Area must complete a Proof of Residency form to prove their physical address to the Enrollment Office or the Tax Department. If needed, these are the Instructions for Proof of Residency Form. If a Resident Tribal Member moves to a new address still within the Tax Agreement Area they must complete a new Proof of Residency form including new documentation. Please note: The Tax Department does not send your personal information to the State of Michigan without your written consent. If you don’t authorize the Tax Department to send this information you will not be added to the Resident Tribal Member list. If a Resident Tribal Member registers with the Tax Department by the 15th of the month, the Tax Officer will forward your information to the State of Michigan. Resident Tribal Member status takes effect on the 1st day of the following month. If you have any questions about your residency status, contact the Tax Department at 231-723-8288 ext. 6874.
  • Why are Resident Tribal Members exempt from some Michigan taxes? The Tax Agreement between the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the State of Michigan represents a compromise between the Tribes and the State that was intended to clarify taxation issues and avoid litigation. Residency and location (in the State or on Reservation) are the two factors that the Federal Courts look at to determine the extent to which the Tribe or Tribal Members are immune from State taxes; therefore, most of the Tribal Member exemptions are only available to Members whose residence is within the Reservation, which is referred to as the Tax Agreement Area. The Tribe did negotiate specific exemptions from cigarette and motor fuels taxes that are available to all Tribal members. The Tax Agreement requires that the Tribe, Tribal Members and Tribal/Member-owned businesses follow certain procedures and file certain forms to receive the exemptions from the various taxes. In some cases, such as with cigarettes and motor fuels, the Tribe or Tribal Members must purchase those items from a specific retailer designated by the Tribe. The Tribe has prepared information, forms and instructions to help Tribal Members and businesses understand how to take advantage of these tax benefits.

Resident Tribal Member Claim Forms