Budget and Finance Committee approves Navajo Economic Development Fund Management Plan

WINDOW ROCK - The Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) approved the Navajo Nation Economic Development fund management plan Dec. 17, which allocates one-half percent of the Navajo Nation sales tax for economic development purposes.

The fund management plan will help stimulate the Nation's economic development in the small business, commercial, industrial, and tourism sectors.

Legislation co-sponsor and BFC vice chair Council Delegate Jonathan Nez (Shonto, Navajo Mountain, Oljato, Ts'ah Bii Kin) said the Division of Economic Development would execute the fund management plan for the economic development initiative.

"The half-percent of the one percent sales tax will go towards infrastructure projects, feasibility studies, and other services that promote the sustainment of Navajo businesses," Nez said.

In 2012, the Navajo Nation Council approved a one percent sales tax increase from four percent, in which one-half percent would go toward economic development and the other half-percent would go toward the Navajo Nation Scholarship Fund.

Nez proposed an amendment recommending that the sales tax allocated for economic development be distributed equitably among the Nation's five agencies for future projects.

At the conclusion of the meeting, BFC member Council Delegate Nelson BeGaye (Lukachukai, Rock Point, Round Rock, Tsaile/Wheatfields, Tse Ch'izhi) requested that the legislation sponsors provide an update after the money is used to monitor the progress of the economic development initiative.

BFC voted 3-0 to approve Legislation No. 0242-13. BFC serves as the final authority for the legislation.

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