Ron Allen: Washingon tribes fuel state economy

"Washington's 29 tribal governments are creating new economic opportunities on Indian reservations and in nearby communities, and are generating tens of millions of dollars in local and state taxes, according to a leading national economist who has just completed a major, two-year-long profile of the state's Indian economy.

Tribal governments "are building, buying, selling, hiring and investing like never before," reports Jonathan Taylor, an independent economic consultant based in Cambridge, Mass.

Tribes employ thousands of Washingtonians -- mostly non-Indian -- in casinos, non-gaming enterprises and governments, according to Taylor. They buy millions of dollars worth of goods and services from hundreds of private businesses in communities near them and around the state. Those purchases and wages -- in turn -- produce millions of dollars in new business for local companies, and taxes for state and local governments.

About 90 cents of every dollar of payroll and purchasing is spent at private businesses off the reservations, supporting non-Indian jobs and producing taxes for local and state governments in Washington.

The total value-added, multiplier effect of tribal government and enterprise spending within Washington exceeds about $2.2 billion a year. Taylor calculates that sum yields an estimated $141 million in state and local taxes in Washington. "

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Ron Allen: Tribes create jobs and taxes (The Seattle Post Intelligencer 8/15)