Michigan Tax Agreement Benefits

The State of Michigan entered into a tax agreement with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi to grant the tribe and citizens immunities and exemptions from certain state tax obligations. While most of the benefits are offered at the tribal government level, not all citizens will qualify for every benefit or exemption recognized by the agreement.  

All tribal citizens can benefit from Michigan sales tax exemptions on purchases of gasoline or tobacco products, regardless of where the citizen resides, provided that the purchases are made from the selling locations that have been designated by the tribal government in the tax agreement. View the links below for tax exempt area maps as well as gas station locations and maps.

Other benefits, such as exemptions from or refunds of Michigan sales and use taxes, and immunity from Michigan income tax liability, are offered only to tribal citizens whose permanent residence is within the boundaries of the tax agreement area, designated within portions of Cass, Van Buren, and Berrien counties, and to citizens whose names have been submitted to the State of Michigan by the Pokagon Band Finance Department. View the links below to see if you are eligible for these tax breaks and to fill out a Resident Tribal Member Application to request to be added to the State list of Resident Tribal Members.

What to Know Before You File Your 2016 Michigan Tax Return

Are you a Resident Tribal Member?

If you are an enrolled citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and you live in the tribe’s Tax Agreement Area defined in the State Tax Agreement between the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the State of Michigan, then please fill a Resident Tribal Member (RTM) Application to see if you are eligible to start receiving certain Michigan tax exemptions. The Tax Agreement Overview, maps, and application are available below. After review of your application, you will be notified of your eligibility status. If you have any questions regarding the tax agreement or your RTM status or benefits, please call Julie Rodriguez at (269) 462-4210 or e-mail her at Julie.Rodriguez@pokagonband-nsn.gov.

If you are a Resident Tribal Member

On Line 20 of Schedule 1, Page 2 of the State of Michigan 1040 Form is the RTM exemption under a state/tribal tax agreement. Not all Pokagon citizens are automatically qualified for this tax exemption. The Pokagon citizens qualified to claim these tax exemptions are those who are Resident Tribal Members (RTMs). RTMs are only those Pokagon citizens who live in the designated tax agreement areas and are on the registered list that the Pokagon Band Department of Finance sends to the State of Michigan. You can get on the list once you have filled out an RTM application and it has been approved.

If a Pokagon citizen is unsure of whether he or she qualifies for this tax exemption, please contact Julie Rodriguez at (269) 462-4210 in the Finance Department.

If you are a qualified RTM you will receive a package in January 2017 pertaining to filing taxes for 2016 from the Pokagon Band Finance Department. Please make sure and know your status before you file your income taxes.

Resident Tribal Member Application
Request for Sales Tax Exemption for Vehicle Purchase

Gas Stations

Tribal citizens can make tax exempt fuel purchases at the following gas stations: The Bent Tree Market near Four Winds Dowagiac, the Benton Harbor Marathon, the Niles US 12 Liquor and Gas, the Sister Lakes Marathon, and the Hartford Citgo on Main Street.

Gasoline purchases should be paid for inside the gas stations so the tax exemption is given at the time of purchase. The only exceptions should be if the gas station attendant informs you that the system is down or that your card is not working when they attempt to scan it. In these cases, you may bring your receipt within 30 days of purchase to the Pokagon Band Administration office to receive your discount money, or you may mail it to the address below and the amount will be added to your next per capita check (and it won’t be taxed). Please be sure to write your enrollment number and sign your name on each receipt submitted.

If you lose your card, you may call the Enrollment Department at (269) 782-8998 as soon as possible to get a replacement. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Julie Rodriguez.

Tax Agreement Documents

The first is an overview of the Tax Agreement written by the Pokagon Band. The links are to the official tax agreement between the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and the State of Michigan, and three amendments to the Tax Agreement, from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Are you eligible for tax breaks? Michigan State Tax Agreement Overview
Tax Agreement with the State of Michigan First Amendment-Tax Agreement
Second Amendment-Tax Agreeement Third Amendment-Tax Agreement

Tax Agreement Maps

Benton/St Joseph Townships Bertrand-South Niles Townships
Buchanan Township Coloma/Watervliet Townships
Decatur/Hamilton Townships General Location Map
Geographic Descriptions Hartford/Bangor Townships
Howard/North Niles Townships Keeler Township
New Buffalo Township Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Area
Pokagon/Lagrange Townships Silver Creek/Wayne Township

Julie Rodriguez Staff Accountant
58620 Sink Road
Dowagiac, MI 49047
(269) 782-8998