Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1979 NO. 19 > Oct 5 1979

(1) Neither real nor personal property, even though located on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, is for that reason alone exempt from state ad valorem property taxation where the subject property is, nevertheless, in non-Indian ownership. (2) Personal property located within the boundaries of a federally-recognized Indian reservation and owned either by the tribe to which the reservation belongs or by a member of that tribe living on the reservation is, for that reason, exempt from state ad valorem property taxation. (3) Real property held in trust status by the United States or otherwise subject to a restriction against alienation, and situated on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, is also, for that reason alone, exempt from state ad valorem property taxation. (4) In a case of fee patent land situated on a federally-recognized Indian reservation, where such land is owned by the tribe or by a reservation Indian (rather than by a non-Indian) the taxability thereof can only be determined on a parcel-by-parcel basis after an examination of the particular federal statutes which apply in a given case.