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AGO 1957 No. 14 - February 06, 1957
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington

TAXATION ‑- REAL ESTATE EXCISE ‑- SALE TO UNITED STATES IN TRUST FOR INDIAN

A conveyance to the United States in trust for an Indian is not subject to the real estate excise tax.

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                                                                 February 6, 1957

Honorable Don J. Clark
Prosecuting Attorney
Yakima County
102 County Court House
Yakima, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 14


Attention:  Mr. Richard C. Focht, Deputy

Dear Sir:

            By your letter of January 23, 1957, you have requested an opinion of this office on the following question:

            "Is a real estate sales tax assessable on a sale of residence property by a white man to an Indian, the title to said property being conveyed to the United States of America in trust for an Indian, and the moneys for the transaction being paid from the funds appropriated for the payment of the Indian right in Celilo Falls?"

            Our answer is in the negative.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            RCW 28.45.010 reads in part:

            "As used in this chapter, the term 'sale' shall have its ordinary meaning and shall include any conveyance, grant, assignment, quitclaim, or transfer of the ownership of or title to real property, including standing timber, or any estate or interest therein for a valuable consideration, * * *"

            The statute, however, exempts certain transactions, and among the exemptions is "a sale by or to the United States * * *."  It can thus be seen that a "sale" includes all conveyances or transfers of the ownership or title to real property, and the fact that the deed in this case was to the United States in trust will not remove it from the exemption.  It was a sale to the United States within the statutory definition.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General


HENRY W. WAGER
Assistant Attorney General

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