OPB: County seeks back taxes from Chehalis Tribe's water park
"It's a destination water park for families from across the Northwest: Great Wolf Lodge in Southwest Washington. Because it's affiliated with the Chehalis Indian tribe, the facility doesn't pay state taxes. But that tax-exempt status is now under scrutiny.

Great Wolf Lodge sits just off Interstate 5, south of Olympia. It's a massive water park and hotel with room rates that start at $200 a night -- part of a nationwide chain.

It's the kind of business that could generate millions in tax dollars for cash-strapped Washington state.

But three years ago, when the Lodge was under construction, the Washington Department of Revenue determined the project was a Tribal business and therefore tax-exempt.

Thurston County, where the water park is located, sees it differently and recently prevailed in federal court. The judge found that the tribe has no day-to-day management role of the water park and few tribal members even work at Great Wolf.

Now Thurston County's prosecutor wants Washington to rescind the water park's tax-exempt status and collect back taxes."

Get the Story:
County Seeks To Rescind Giant Water Park's Tax-Exempt Status (Oregon Public Broadcasting 8/11)

Court Decision:
Chehalis Tribe v. Thurston County (April 2, 2010)

Related Stories:
Editorial: A lot at stake in Chehalis Tribe taxation dispute (4/12)
Chehalis Tribe loses lawsuit over property tax assessments (4/5)
Judge will make decision on Chehalis Tribe taxation case (3/25)
Judge hears arguments in Chehalis Tribe taxation case (3/19)
BIA adds land to Chehalis Reservation amid tax battle (3/18)
County reduces budget as it battles Chehalis Tribe (12/11)
Editorial: Resolve Chehalis Tribe tax dispute in court (4/15)
Chehalis Tribe back in court over tax dispute (4/6)
County stops tax proceedings against Chehalis Tribe (3/4)
Opinion: Chehalis resort tax assessment dispute (11/17)
Judge rejects injunction in Chehalis tax case (10/28)
Chehalis Tribe sues over county property taxes (10/27)
Chehalis Tribe to hire 500 for Great Wolf resort (1/11)
Chehalis Tribe signs $1.5M services deal with county (4/5)
BIA approves Chehalis land-into-trust application (7/10)
Chehalis Tribe reaches deal with Great Wolf Resorts (06/30)
Chehalis Tribe in discussions with Great Wolf Resorts (05/06)