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Business | Law
Chehalis Tribe sues over county property taxes


The Chehalis Tribe is in federal court to stop Thurston County, Washington, from imposing property taxes on the Great Wolf Lodge.

Through an entity known as CTGW LLC, the tribe owns 51 percent of the lodge, which opened in March. The property is located on trust land.

The county imposed property taxes on the 49 percent of CTGW that is owned by Great Wolf Resorts, a non-Indian company. The bill for the current tax year was $94,295, which has grown to more than $100,000 due to penalties and non-payment, The Olympian reported.

"If the property tax can be imposed, it's going ... to make agreements of this sort less likely," Erik Jensen, a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told the paper. "If something is going to be taxed that otherwise wouldn't be taxed, people are less likely to do it. That means, in this context, outside investors are going to be less interested in investing in Indian Country, and that's to the good of nobody."

The lawsuit was filed last month. A federal judge has declined to issue a temporary restraining order against the county.

Get the Story:
Great Wolf Lodge owners sue to keep Thurston County from collecting property tax (The Olympia 10/26)

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BIA approves Chehalis land-into-trust application (7/10)
Chehalis Tribe reaches deal with Great Wolf Resorts (06/30)
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