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Resident tribal members entitled to tax benefits

Sault Tribe members living in and around the tribe’s service area have been enjoying tax benefits since April 2003. The state of Michigan signed a tax agreement that benefits many members whose principal residence is within specific agreement areas which is often on or near tribal reservations.

Tribal members living and registered (with the Tribal Tax Office) in the Tax Agreement Area are exempt from Michigan income taxes. The tax exemption also applies to the Michigan sales tax (6% of retail price); use tax (6% of purchase price). There is also an exemption on motor fuel tax, and cigarette tax at the Sault Tribe Casinos and the MidJim convenience stores.

The Tax Agreement also entitles an annual tax credit, which is based on a percentage of the Adjusted Gross Income listed on the member’s tax returns, and length of time residing in the Tax Agreement Area. This annual sales tax credit is obtained by filing a Form 4013 with member’s Michigan State Tax Income Taxes, or by mailing it to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The Form 4013 is available through the Tax Office.

Tribal members in the tax agreement area must request a tax exemption certificate BEFORE a purchase that would entitle a tribal member to a Michigan sales tax exemption.

If you are 16 or over and want to receive these tax benefits, you must sign a Sault Tribe tax agreement registration card to verify your residency in an agreement area.*

Before you can request an annual tax refund or tax exemption, you must first sign and return a registration card to the Sault Tribe tax office to verify your residency in a tax agreement area. This is mandatory for all tribal members.*

If you are unsure you are registered, please contact Latisha Willette at the tax office at 906‑632‑6281 or toll free at 866‑632‑6281 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to verify your card is on file. Once registered, members are then required to fill out a certain tax forms and submit them to the state.

It is the member’s responsibility to notify the tribal tax office when they change addresses, even if the address change is still in the agreement area. Please note, if you have move out of the tax agreement area and are still receiving certain tax benefits, or exemptions through this agreement, it may be considered tax fraud. Please consult your personal accountant or call the tribal tax office for questions. Members are responsible for complying with the agreement and are encouraged to contact the Sault Tribe Tax Office with any questions about any of its provisions.

Tax Agreement Maps and the Tribal-State Tax Agreement are available for download:

tax agreement and amendments.pdf

tax agreement area maps.pdf

*Registration cards must be received by the Tax Office by the 15th of the month, so that the member will be included on the State's RTM list for the first day of the following month.
(Tax Agreement Section II and Section VIII(B)(1).

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