Proclamation Authorizes Tribe’s Request for Increased Flexibility on Spending of Revenue of Fuel Sales

SNOQUALMIE, WA — The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is celebrating a proclamation issued by Governor Jay Inslee that formalizes State support for a Snoqualmie proposal to allow Tribes increased flexibility to utilize proceeds from fuel sales to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without costing Washington State taxpayers a cent, the proclamation will allow sovereign Tribes to utilize their own share of proceeds from fuel sales to fund COVID response and mitigation efforts.

“It’s important in times like these that governments work in cooperation to find solutions to serve our communities,” said Snoqualmie Chairman Robert de los Angeles. “We’re seeing that here with the governor supporting our request so that we may continue to serve our community without any cost to the State or its taxpayers.”

Sales of fuel by federally recognized Tribes in Washington State are governed by negotiated agreements with the State called compacts, which direct a portion of proceeds to the State and places a number of limitations on how the Tribes can spend their share their revenue. The Snoqualmie Tribe requested that the Governor consider removing those limitations during this emergency and recognize Tribes’ right to spend those proceeds on COVID-related expenses. This was a request consistent with the spirit of compact language, which explicitly mentions “public safety” as an allowed use for fuel proceeds.

“Tribes in Washington are a significant contributor to the economic vitality of state, and this action provides tribal governments needed flexibility to provide increased COVID-19 response and recovery for their members and surrounding communities,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.

“This proclamation will mean major fiscal relief and increased resources for COVID response for our Tribe, and dozens of other Tribes,” said Snoqualmie Treasurer Christopher Castleberry. “It is also one more successful collaboration with the Inslee Administration, which has worked closely with our Tribe on improving the safety of SR-18, regulating mining of our state’s rivers, and reforming property tax policy.”