(1) The governor may enter into an agreement with any federally recognized Indian tribe located on a reservation within this state regarding motor vehicle fuel taxes included in the price of fuel delivered to a retail station wholly owned and operated by a tribe, tribal enterprise, or tribal member licensed by the tribe to operate a retail station located on reservation or trust property. The agreement may provide mutually agreeable means to address any tribal immunities or any preemption of the state motor vehicle fuel tax.
(2) The provisions of this section do not repeal existing state/tribal fuel tax agreements or consent decrees in existence on May 15, 2007. The state and the tribe may agree to substitute an agreement negotiated under this section for an existing agreement or consent decree, or to enter into an agreement using a methodology similar to the state/tribal fuel tax agreements in effect on May 15, 2007.
(3) If a new agreement is negotiated, the agreement must:
(a) Require that the tribe or the tribal retailer acquire all motor vehicle fuel only from persons or companies operating lawfully in accordance with this chapter as a motor vehicle fuel distributor, supplier, importer, or blender, or from a tribal distributor, supplier, importer, or blender lawfully doing business according to all applicable laws;
(b) Provide that the tribe will expend fuel tax proceeds or equivalent amounts on: Planning, construction, and maintenance of roads, bridges, and boat ramps; transit services and facilities; transportation planning; police services; and other highway-related purposes;
(c) Include provisions for audits or other means of ensuring compliance to certify the number of gallons of motor vehicle fuel purchased by the tribe for resale at tribal retail stations, and the use of fuel tax proceeds or their equivalent for the purposes identified in (b) of this subsection. Compliance reports must be delivered to the director of the department of licensing.
(4) Information from the tribe or tribal retailers received by the state or open to state review under the terms of an agreement shall be deemed to be personal information under *RCW 42.56.230(3)(b) and exempt from public inspection and copying.
(5) The governor may delegate the power to negotiate fuel tax agreements to the department of licensing.
(6) The department of licensing shall prepare and submit an annual report to the legislature on the status of existing agreements and any ongoing negotiations with tribes.
[2007 c 515 § 19; 1995 c 320 § 2.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 42.56.230 was amended by 2011 c 173 § 1, changing subsection (3)(b) to subsection (4)(b).|
Severability -- Effective date -- 2007 c 515: See notes following RCW 82.36.010.
Legislative recognition, belief -- 1995 c 320: "The legislature recognizes that certain Indian tribes located on reservations within this state dispute the authority of the state to impose a tax upon the tribe, or upon tribal members, based upon the distribution, sale, or other transfer of motor vehicle and other fuels to the tribe or its members when that distribution, sale, or other transfer takes place upon that tribe's reservation. While the legislature believes it has the authority to impose state motor vehicle and other fuel taxes under such circumstances, it also recognizes that all of the state citizens may benefit from resolution of these disputes between the respective governments." [1995 c 320 § 1.]
Severability -- 1995 c 320: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1995 c 320 § 4.]
Effective date -- 1995 c 320: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [May 11, 1995]." [1995 c 320 § 5.]