Snoqualmie Tribe announces new tax to protect ancestral lands

All sales at the Salish Lodge and Spa will now come with a 2% Land Protection Tax.

The Snoqualmie Tribe has announced a new tax on sales at the Salish Lodge and Spa they are calling a cutting-edge effort to protect their ancestral lands.

All sales at the Salish Lodge will now come with a 2% Land Protection Tax, the Tribe said in a statement. Revenue generated will be allocated by the Tribal Council to protect the Tribe’s ancestral lands. The tax is believed to be the first of its kind in North America.

“This Lands Protection Tax directly exercises the Tribe’s sovereignty and demonstrates our values,” Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles said in a statement.

“Those who visit the Lodge can take pride in knowing that their dollars directly support the Tribe’s work to protect and restore our ancestral lands and sacred sites,” he said.

As a sovereign nation, the Tribe has the right to collect sales taxes from activities on its lands.

The Tribe has owned the Salish Lodge and its adjacent lands since 2019. They purchased the lodge for $125 million from the Muckleshoot Tribe, stunting a planned development near the falls backed by the city of Snoqualmie.

The Tribe has been active in reacquiring its ancestral lands over the last several years, notably purchasing the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Forest, a 12,000-acre property in the Tolt River Watershed, last year. They also secured another 10 acres in the Snoqualmie Valley in January.

In 2021, the Tribe launched its Ancestral Lands Movement, which shares information about the Tribe and its relationship to the land — encouraging residents to recreate mindfully.