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Navajo Nation Council Approves Alcohol Tax

Navajo Nation Council Approves Alcohol Tax
July 30
10:38 2015

The Navajo Nation Council approved a 3.25-percent tax on alcoholic beverages sold at its gaming facilities during the 2015 summer session.

The tax revenue would go to the Division of Public Safety and be used to combat drunk driving on the reservation. If signed into law by President Russell Begaye the tribe could start collecting the tax by October 1.Navajo Nation Seal small pic

“These funds will be used for sobriety checkpoints in each police district on the Navajo Nation,” said Delegate Edmund Yazzie, who sponsored the bill. “It is going to send a message to individuals that are drinking and driving that our Navajo police will be out on weekends and holidays to conduct sobriety checkpoints.”

The tribe sells liquor at its Twin Arrows Resort, in Flagstaff, and a tribal marina at Lake Powell. The tribe’s New Mexico facilities do not sell alcohol.

The tax is expected to raise $73,000 per year.

The council also approved $3 million for the tribe’s 110 chapters to use for the Summer Youth Employment Program, $31,780 to improve a Bureau of Indian Affairs road in Tsi’dii To’ii Chapter and $200,000 for the Navajo Communiy Development Financial Institution.

All the funding will come from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund.

The UUF had a $4.9 million balance as of May 31, according to the Office of the Controller.

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