Monday, August 15, 2005

Assets seek their highest return 

Residual Forces has an excellent story of how the Shooting Star Casino is going to go off the property tax rolls soon. The White Earth Band is going to put it into an Indian land trust and instead negotiate an in lieu payment to the county.

Why is this a surprise? All resources seek their highest possible after-tax return; any asset that can be moved to a lower-tax environment has incentives to do so. Accountants are in the business of advising asset owners to do so.

County officials think the band will give them money in return for county services. The question they need to ask is whether tribal leaders could provide those services cheaper to themselves.