Jodi Rave: Bond provision will help Indian Country
"The national stimulus bill includes a $2 billion provision for tax-exempt bonds, a first-ever economic development tool for tribal nations, in addition to $2.5 billion for tribal economic recovery projects.

“It's the largest capital infusion in Indian Country since Indian gaming,” said Tom Rodgers, a former staff member for Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and a consultant who lobbied for the one-of-a-kind tax-exempt bonds for tribes. “We will be able to do the same things - that we should have been able to do all these years - as state and local governments.”

State and local governments have long benefited from tax-exempt bonds, allowing for infrastructure development with the help of nontaxable interest payments. Tribal provisions in the $787 billion stimulus bill represent a fraction of the total aid package, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in Denver on Tuesday.

“I've never seen anything like this before,” said Ernest House, chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Colorado, who attended the signing ceremony. “I thought of the old leaders, the champions of the past like Wendell Chino and Roger Jourdain, Joe DelaCruz, the leaders who aren't around anymore. We've never had anything related to what happened here in Denver.”

House, who has been Ute chairman for 34 years, said tribal leaders are still waiting to see how the stimulus package will directly benefit their communities."

Get the Story:
Stimulus provision to help Indian Country (The Missoulian 2/19)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
H.R.1 | S.1

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