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 members.”

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.

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