Letter: North Dakota Indians contribute millions
"The Jan. 5 issue of the Turtle Mountain Star carried a story headlined, “County looking for state aid.”

In the story, the county auditor told the county commissioners that they’d have to assess a poor tax because the county welfare office had a deficit of more than $135,000. Furthermore, the auditor said, the fact that 12 percent of the land in Rolette County, N.D., is not taxable because it is reservation land helps create a scenario that repeatedly strains the county budget.

The underlying message seemed to be that we as Indian people are draining county and state coffers. The opposite actually is true, when one considers that 85 percent to 90 percent of Rolette County’s population is Turtle Mountain Chippewa. This means businesses in and around Rolette County depend on and survive because of the Indian population.

Indian people patronize these businesses, which means that Indian people are paying the lion’s share of sales taxes throughout Rolette County and have been doing so for years.

It’s also correct a higher-than-usual number of people employed in Rolette County are Turtle Mountain Chippewa. This means we are paying the lion’s share of federal and state taxes as well."

Get the Story:
Emil LaRocque, Belcourt, N.D., letter: Indians contribute millions to N.D. (The Grand Forks Herald 1/20)