Gov. Hickenlooper signed House Bill 14-1080 – Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Colorado Ute Indians – into law on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation Friday, May 30.
Members of the two Ute tribes are now tax-exempt from vendors on and off the reservation that deliver a good or service to a tribal member on the reservation.
The bill also includes tax exemptions on the sale of motor vehicles. If the vehicle is registered to an address on the reservation, the purchase is exempt of state and use tax.
Newly elected Chairman, Clement J. Frost, welcomed Hickenlooper to the reservation focusing on the significance of this historic event.
“This is a special time, we have the governor here on our land,” Frost said. “Thank you to the governor’s staff, state representatives and CCIA [Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs] for recognizing this and making it a law.”
The occasion marks the first time in history any Colorado governor has signed a bill on an Indian reservation.
“This is a reflection of our intention to build stronger bridges with the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute people,” Hickenlooper said. “ You are separate nations, but we are all partners.”
After signing the bill, Hickenlooper toured tribal campus and the Southern Ute Three Springs Business District before continuing on into Durango.
Sunshine Cloud Smith Youth Advisory Council was also present at the signing to ask the governor questions concerning tribal youth.
Hickenlooper’s parting advice to the youth.
“Work hard, be nice and never quit.”