Legislation introduced yesterday by House GOP leaders would undermine ongoing negotiations between the governor’s office and Idaho Indian tribes. Here’s how: The bill would impose the state’s tax on reservation gas sales but suspend its application if a tribe reaches agreement with the governor’s office over the issue by July 1. However, it would rescind that decision if lawmakers the following year don’t approve the agreement.
“They said, ‘You can enter into an agreement with the governor if you do it by the first of July, but we have the right to take it away in January of 2008,’ ” said Bill Roden, lobbyist for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. “What kind of nonsense is that? There’s absolutely no reason, there’s no way to have open and honest negotiations with that kind of a threat staring you in the face.”
Bob Wells, Gov. Butch Otter’s legislative liaison on transportation and tribal issues, said, “We’re right in the middle of negotiations.” Read the full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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