CALL TO ACTION: Native American Pay Restoratio..n Act
Richard Adame firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though the Native American Pay Restoration Act was not officially passed and made into law when it was first introduced by rep Udall of New Mexico when he was a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the state of New Mexico set a presidence by admitting to illegally taxing Native American Veterans in that state. They have also begun the process of repaying the Veterans the money that was illegally taxed with interest!.
Myself and the thousands of other Native American Veterans who were cheated and illegally taxed by our states also deserve to be repayed this stolen money.
I learned of this injustice in 2003 and everyone and every organization or group that I have contacted for help has basically referred me to someone else or gave me a bogus contact or asked me to relace and tighten up my boot straps and do things for myself. I am just an average american citizen who happens to be a veteran who happens to be Native American.
Almost every state ignored this federal law(SSCRA)where it pertained to Native Americans. We have representatives and advocates and people who hold public offices who are sworn to stand up for and protect the average american citizen. We just happen to be Veterans and Native Americans.
Below is an earlier version of the DD form 2058-2 which was in use in 1977 and it refers to and mentions the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act! The SSCRA of 1940 prohibited states from taxing Native American military members however the DD 2058-2(specifically for Native Americans) was not in use or even an official form until July of 2002. The DD stands for department of defense a branch of the federal government the -2 refers to 2002 the year it was updated or a change was made.
The form was used by the state of Kansas and there is mention of the SSCRA in the form so both the federal government and the state of Kansas are guilty of illegally taxing the Native Americans Veterans in the state of Kansas. The state of Kansas has always taxed military income according to the office of the secretary Kansas Department of revenue..The original version of DD 2058 was used to keep states from competing for and double taxing the average veteran who may have been stationed in several states during his tour. This does not mean states began taxing military income in 1977 it only means the states could not double tax military members beginning in 1977. Kansas along with most other states has always taxed the military income of its veterans.
There was no consideration for the Native American Veteran until 2001 when the DOD finally complied with the SSCRA of 1940 and stopped the illegal taxation of the Native American Veterans.
The DD 2058-2(specifically for Native Americans) was not updated or implemented until July of 2002.
The IRS auctioned this tribes land to recover money it says the tribe owes and back taxes and fines and penalties...... Now According to the SSCRA of 1940 The IRS had no authority to tax Native American Veterans
The Native american veterans of this country were cheated out of tax dollars from the years 1940-2001!!!!. Look it up. talk about a double standard.
Association of the United States Army: Restoring Pay :
Potawatomi vet: Soldiers wrongly taxed (Brother Richard has pointed out the correct spelling for this nation is one "t" Potawatomi).
March 16, 2009
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - While browsing the Internet, Prairie Band Potawatomi tribal citizen and U.S. Army veteran Richard Adame was surprised to find a news article about New Mexico legislation and subsequent negotiations with American Indian veterans in that state to restore state taxes wrongly deducted from their pay by the Department of Defense.
"This story concerns all Native Americans who ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces. We were unjustly and illegally taxed by our individual states while serving in uniform," Richard Adame, shown here in his military portrait, said.
Adame immediately began to search for information on the law and contacted national media outlets, some veteran's representatives and politicians. Adame said with the exception of Native American Times he was ignored because, he thinks, the law protecting American Indian military pay is virtually unknown by all.
"Two years after I retired, I found out that I and every other Native American who claimed the reservation as our homes were illegally taxed. But, no one seems to know. . . I contacted a few vet reps and they never heard of this. This injustice was not even known to us ground pounders. We were just doing our jobs. How were we supposed to know that we were being illegally taxed?" he said. "I grew up in Kansas on the reservation and joined the Army out of a sense of patriotism and pride in my country. Most of the men and women in my family served in the Armed Forces.
Deduction of state income taxes from the pay of American Indian veterans living on reservation land at the time of their entrance into active duty service was first prohibited by federal law under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, Section 514, and continued under the newer version of the law, the Service members Civil Relief Act of 2006, section 511e. Other laws and legal opinions uphold the protection of that pay.
But according to language in HB 5275 introduced to the United States 108th Congress in October 2004 by New Mexico Democratic Senator Tom Udall, the DoD withheld state income taxes anyway. HR 5275 intended to restore the pay of all American Indian veterans across the country from whose pay state taxes were wrongly deducted. (Richard has also pointed out the Article wrongly named the bill HB. The correction is HR 5275, information about the failed bill can be found at: http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/..d108query.html, where you can do a search for HR 5275. Also google for "Public Law 108-189" for further information).
"The law is now well established that this policy was wrong and, in keeping with tribal sovereignty, the policy of withholding state taxes on these soldiers' pay was changed. This position is reflected in administrative opinions, Fatt v. Utah, 884P2d 1233 (Utah 1994), a 2000 Department of Justice opinion, a Department of Defense policy instituted in 2001, and most recently, in Public Law 108-189, a law that passed this House unanimously," Udall said in his introduction of HR 5275 to the House Armed Services Committee.
While the DoD stopped the improper taxation of those veterans in 2001, the changes did not apply retroactively for veterans whose pay was taxed prior to that year. A statute of limitations could present obstacles as well.
"The result is that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tribal members whose state taxes were improperly withheld during their service to our country are unable to recover the money that is owed to them," Udall stated.
Sadly, HR 5275 faced immediate death in the 108th HASC for lack of support. Since then, no action has been taken to restore the pay of reservation-based American Indian veterans outside of New Mexico.
Adame has questioned whether restoration of the veterans' pay might be settled legally with a class action lawsuit but would rather see Congress step up to reintroduce legislation like HR 5275 and bring justice to all American Indian veterans.
"This story concerns all Native Americans who ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces," he said. "We were unjustly and illegally taxed by our individual states while serving in uniform."
In Oklahoma, the topic of taxation of American Indians has always been controversial but was settled unanimously by the U.S Supreme Court in the 1993 case, "Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Sac and Fox," filed by attorney William Rice, associate professor of law and co-director of the Native American Law Center, University of Tulsa College of Law.
"The state lost," Rice said. "How the veterans' case would play out is arguable. But obviously Oklahoma has no authority to levy the tax in the first place and the SSCRA should protect them in the second."
Rice said the Court generally has ruled that the Constitution and federal law place the tribal relationship with the federal government and not states, at least in areas defined as Indian Country, a legal term applying to allotments, tribal lands, reservations and other categories of Indian-owned properties.
Oklahoma Tax Commission law now states active duty pay is exempt when:
"The income is compensation paid to an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States, if the member was residing within his tribe's "Indian Country" at the time of entering the Armed Forces of the United States, and the member has not elected to abandon such residence."
Rice thinks there would be even more affected veterans in Oklahoma than in New Mexico.
"I suggest many of them would be residents of Indian Country when they joined up," he said.
Adame wants his pay and that of all other American Indian veterans restored and is hoping affected veterans will contact tribal, regional and national veterans' organizations to make them aware of the law. He said veterans should also contact their Congressional representatives to request they reintroduce and support legislation like HR 5275. He also posted online a petition to restore the veterans' pay.
Adame hopes the new Obama administration will walk its talk as it promised to respect Indian sovereignty and honor tribal nations' government-to-government relationship.
First Lady Michelle Obama told employees at the Interior Department in February that American Indians have a "wonderful partner in the White House right now," and her husband plans to improve that relationship even more, according to an Associated Press story.
Adame wants American Indians in political office to help rectify the wrongs against him and other veterans.
"These newly appointed government Native American politicians and advocates must also stand up for us, the cheated veterans."
Sent by Brother Richard Adame Abeartracks@aol.com.
State works to fix tax snafu with tribal vets
By Alysa Landry - Dec. 11, 2009
SHIPROCK - Thousands of American Indian veterans will receive long-overdue reimbursements of tax dollars unlawfully withheld from their military paychecks following an announcement Thursday that the application process has begun.
An estimated 9,000 American Indian veterans live in the state, and those who can prove state income tax was unjustly withheld from their military paychecks can collect a piece of the settlement fund.
Checks should begin arriving by early next year, Rick Homans, secretary for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, told a group of veterans Thursday in Shiprock. The application process was streamlined, and Homans personally accepted applications from veterans who had all the correct paperwork.
"Anywhere we can make the process easier and simpler, we'll do it," he said. "From the time you submit the application, it should take up to 90 days before the settlement check comes."
Veterans crowded inside the lobby at the Shiprock Chapter House to witness the kick-off of the Native American Veterans' Income Tax Settlement Fund. Most of the veterans wore ball caps, jackets or patches identifying them by the branch of the military in which they served.
The fund, into which state legislators dropped $1 million, was created last year to reimburse veterans whose primary addresses were on tribal land during the time of their military service and whose military income was unjustly taxed by the state. Once the fund is depleted, lawmakers will need to vote to appropriate more money.
The $1 million appropriation, sponsored by Sen. Lynda Lovejoy, comes as the state faces its biggest budget crisis in history, Homans said.
That the funding exists to jumpstart the settlement, which is expected to total close to $2 million, is a testament to how the Legislature feels about veterans, he said.
"Individuals who honorably served the country in active military duty, you deserve our praise," Homans said. "I want to make sure that any project like this where people feel they have been grieved (gets funded)... This is the beginning of the process of hopefully healing the wound. Our role is to roll out the red carpet for you." (HOLD HIM TO IT!)
Howard Harvey, 64, was one of the first veterans in line for the application process. He carried a bundle of military documents in a folder tucked under his arm.
"I have no idea how much taxes were taken out," he said. "It's been a long wait, a long process."
Harvey served in the Army in Vietnam from 1968-1971. If he qualifies for a payment, it will be from income more than four decades old.
"I did not realize at the time that I had to fill out forms," he said. "I just went into the service and didn't think about the politics until a few people came forward and said there was something here, that the government had done something wrong."
Applications are filed with the state Department of Veterans' Services. The federal Department of Defense is assisting by providing documents necessary to prove income and taxes, Homans said. Veterans seeking settlement dollars will not have to go through the tribal government. ( Did you see towards the bottom? Where it said they invite everyone even those who were joined before the deadline? They will accept all claims ands see if they jive with the data they have from the department of defense!!!!!!!!
Hello!!! If they have all the data from the department of defense already Why do we have to submit anything in the first place. We should only have to raise a hand or sign a piece of paper. The Veteran may have lost or destroyed any and all paperwork long ago. We shouldn't have to prove anything!!! Richard Adame Abeartracks@aol...com )
State Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock, also helped propel the bill and appropriation forward. He said Thursday the credit goes to veterans who researched the laws and lobbied support of a settlement.
"It's a huge relief," Begaye said of the settlement, which Gov. Bill Richardson signed into law last year. "I think we're seeing justice. I think we're seeing the Legislature at work."
Taxes likely were withheld because of an omission in paperwork. The Taxation and Revenue Department failed to provide instructions for income tax withholding or documents to declare exemption, an omission that affected American Indian veterans serving between 1977 and 2004.
Federal law was amended in 1976 to require the Department of Defense to withhold state income taxes from military pay. New Mexico entered into the agreement in July 1977, but American Indians who live on tribal lands are exempt.
The state developed an exemption certificate in 2002 and a year later provided employers with instructions for W-4 forms. However, a three-year statute of limitations prohibited veterans from filing for refunds.
Although tax officials believe veterans serving prior to 1977 were not unjustly taxed, they invited anyone who suspects they qualify for a payment to fill out an application.
"We're not making any judgments," Homans said. "Anyone with a claim who fills out an application, if the data from the Department of Defense backs it up, you get a settlement check."
For more information or for an application, visit www.dvs.state.nm.us and click on the link for the Native American Veterans' Income Tax Settlement
Take a look at Soldiers' & Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, (SSCRA) for further information & PLEASE TAKE A STAND IN UNITY NOW!!!!!:
[The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA), is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, credit card interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, insurance and tax payments.]
PLEASE MAKE THESE CONTACTS!!!!!
The President, your Rep & Senators thru www.congress.org (where your email messages open for the general public to read by including it in "Letters to Leaders"), &/or http://www.usa.gov/..Contact.shtml
Governor Bill Richardson: http://www.governor.state.nm...us .
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Rick Houmas:
Joseph Montoya Building
1100 South St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe NM 87504-0630
Office of the Secretary (505)827-0341
Legal Services (505)827-0730
Tax Information and Policy (505)827-0908
Tax Analysis/Research and Statistics (505)827-0693
Senator Lynda Lovejoy: email@example.com .
490 Old Sante Fe Trail
Santa Fe NM 875030001
(505) 986-4310 (phone)
(505) 986-4280 (fax)
PO Box 705
Crownpoint NM 873130705
(505) 352-0967 (phone)
New Mexico Department of Veteran Services (NMDVS):
Secretary Veterans Service Commission, John M. Garcia: firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.O. Box 2324
Santa Fe, NM
Ph# (505) 827-6300
Fax# (505) 827-6372
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services:
(On the web): http://www.dvs.state.nm.us/
U.S. Army Veteran
NM Dept. of Veterans' Services
Bataan Memorial Bldg.
407 Galisteo St., Room 142
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Cabinet Secretary's Public Information Officer, Ray Seva: email@example.com .
NM Dept. of Veterans' Services (con't)
Dan McCormack: firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Services Director
Alan Martinez: email@example.com
State Benefits Director; Acting Deputy Secretary
Carlos Beserra: firstname.lastname@example.org
Constituent Services Director
Danelle Jimenez: email@example.com
Executive Administrative Assistant
to Secretary Garcia
Rebecca Tapia: firstname.lastname@example.org
State Benefits Division
Agnes C. Cardenas, Director: email@example.com
National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA):
An Organization Chartered by Congress and/or Recognized by VA for Claim Representation
National Headquarters Address
Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs
30 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 264-7616 fax
John Scocos: firstname.lastname@example.org
President of NASDVA, Executive Director of Veterans Affairs, Terry Schow:
Utah Department of Veterans Affairs
550 Foothill Blvd. #202
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Fax (801) 326-2369
Sr. V.P., Linda Schwartz: email@example.com .
Jr. V.P. Patrick Palmersheim: firstname.lastname@example.org .
District V.P. South West, Joey Strickland: email@example.com .
DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' SERVICES
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
3839 NORTH THIRD STREET, SUITE 200
PHOENIX AZ, 85012
ph: (602) 255-3373
fax: (602) 255-1038
National Native American Veterans Association, Inc. (NNAVA)
3903 County Road 382
San Antonio, TX 78253
Email: National Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
NNAVA Chairman, Jim Cates at email@example.com .
National Vice Chairperson, Blackhawk Fornelli: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) :
1516 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 466-7767, Fax: (202) 466-7797
NCAI Executive Director: Jacqueline Johnson Pata: email@example.com.
" Deputy Director: Robert Holden: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
838 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2251
On the web: http://indian.senate.gov
I know this is still not covering our Veterans who were wrongly taxed starting in 1940. This may be a start, or they may never honor them at all. It's a work in motion. Please do all you can to help our Veterans prior to service in 1961 to get back the illegal taxes withheld while they were serving this country.
Thank you to all our Veterans & many blessings to all.