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IRS audits Morongo Band over tax-free bonds

The Internal Revenue Service is auditing the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for tax-free bonds arranged by the tribe.

The IRS is looking into a $51 million bond used for roads, water-treatment facilities and a parking garage next to the tribe's casino. The IRS wants to determine whether the bonds were used for governmental purposes or commercial gain.

The IRS contends that bonds for casino and hotel projects are not tax-free because they are not used for "essential" government purposes. Two negative decisions have been issued against the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians in California.

Charlie Anderson, the IRS manager of field operations for tax-exempt bonds, is leading the audits. "Congress clearly didn't intend to give tribes all the same rights that the states have when it comes to bonds for commercial endeavors," he told The Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Get the Story:
IRS audits Morongo bonds (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 8/26)

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