HELENA, Mont. (Legal Newsline) — Montana Attorney General
Tim Fox, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, and Crow Nation Chairman Darrin
Old Coyote recently signed an agreement to resolve a case involving assessment
of taxes on coal owned by the Crow Nation.
“This is a historic day for the state of Montana and for the
Crow Nation," Bullock said. "This responsible agreement was the result of years of working
government-to-government to do the right thing for all Montanans, and I thank
the Crow tribe for its hard work in securing a stronger future for all its
The settlement resolves 30 years of litigation. The Montana Legislature
approved the Crow Tribe-Montana Water Rights Compact in 1999. In 2010 Congress
approved the Water Compact, and in 2012 the Crow Nation, the United States and the state of Montana executed the Water Compact in a signing
ceremony in Washington, D.C.
As per the settlement, the Crow tribe agreed to protect certain
water rights recognized under state law and receive a sum of $15 million for
economic development and water and sewer infrastructure. Additionally, the
settlement mandates that future coal production taxes collected by the state on
production of coal owned by the United States in trust for the Crow tribe would
be paid to the tribe.