3.10 Public Services

Paying Our Fair Share

You’ve probably heard someone say that Indian tribes pay no taxes. Wrong!

It’s true that reservation lands held in trust by the federal government are exempt from state or local taxes. But that’s not the whole story.

The Coquille Tribe believes in paying its fair share for local government services such as police and fire protection. One way we do that is a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement. Basically, the Tribe negotiates a fair price with local authorities, and the subsequent payments take the place of property taxes.

In North Bend, where we operate The Mill Casino-Hotel and RV Park, we’ve made PILOT payments for decades. No other property owner pays as much to North Bend as the Tribe does.

In addition to our North Bend PILOT, we pay the Charleston Fire District to protect our Kilkich Reservation. We also voluntarily contribute hotel room taxes to help support tourism promotion in the Coos Bay area.

And, of course, we pay regular payroll taxes and government fees like any other business.

One more thing: Not all tribal land is exempt from property taxes. Only the reservation lands held in trust by the federal government have the exemption. Other property the Coquille Tribe owns, including some forest, farm and commercial property, are subject to the same state and local taxes as any other real estate.

The Coquille Indian Tribe definitely pays its fair share. We’re proud to help support public services in all the communities where we live and do business.

Officer Rob Scoville and K9 Ben celebrate a successful search for illegal narcotics.

Protecting the Community

When police departments in Coos County converge for a drug bust or major crime investigation, Coquille Tribal officers are likely to be on the scene. As sworn officers empowered to enforce Oregon laws, Tribal police routinely partner with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, city police forces, and the Oregon State Police. They work to protect not only Tribal members, but the entire community.

Our officers are especially active in drug cases. Our two drug dogs, Ben and Stormy, often figure prominently in local narcotics cases. And, since 2019, we’ve lent one of our officers to work full-time with the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team (SCINT).

To Contact Tribal Police

For EMERGENCY help, dial 911

Police business line: (541) 888-0189

Dispatch: (541) 269-8911

Police Chief Scott LaFevre: (541) 888-0509

Facts About Our Tribal Police

  • Founded in 1996, the Coquille Tribal Police Department has three officers and a chief of police.
  • Tribal officers protect the Kilkich Reservation near Charleston and the 5,900-acre Coquille Tribal Forest.
  • Tribal officers refer Tribal-related cases to the Tribal Court.  They also enforce the Tribe’s Civil Code.
  • All Coquille Tribal police complete Oregon’s police academy to be certified as officers. They’re empowered to make traffic stops and enforce state law wherever their help is needed.
  • The Tribal police headquarters serves as a substation for the Coos County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Because Indian tribes often have access to special grant funding, the Coquille Tribe has partnered with neighboring agencies to help them buy vehicles and equipment.

Sharing Knowledge

Though small, the Coquille Indian Tribe’s library contains extensive information on southwest Oregon tribes, as well as general-interest materials about the region. Many of its materials are available for public use.

The library’s collection focuses on information from the perspective of Tribes and Native Americans, such as Tribal histories, traditional technologies, traditional languages, health, education, law, and other culture-related subjects. The collection also contains general-interest materials, similar to what might be found in a small public library.

Our Collection

The library’s collection includes:

  • More than 3,000 books available for loan.
  • Newspapers published by Oregon tribes, local southwest Oregon community newspapers, and major Oregon newspapers.
  • Archival documents from the Melville Jacobs Collection, Southwest Oregon Research Project, and other archival resources.

How to Visit Us

The CIT Library is at 495 Miluk Drive, Coos Bay, Ore. It is located inside the Tribe’s Culture, Education and Learning Services building, near the entrance to the Tribe’s reservation lands off Cape Arago Highway, north of Charleston.  Click here for map.

Operating hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.


Julie Goff, CELS Executive Secretary/Librarian
(541) 751-2004 (direct line)
(541) 756-0904 ext. 1261
(800) 622-5869
FAX: (541) 888-2418
Mailing address: 495 Miluk Drive Coos Bay, OR.  97420

Research Resources

Want to know more about Oregon Indians and their tribes?  We’ve gathered links to some informative websites, covering topics including:

  • Southwest Oregon Tribes
  • Southwest Oregon History
  • Indigenous Languages
  • Oregon Tribal Newspapers
  • Native News
  • Spanish and Latino Resources
  • Other Library Resources
  • Oregon Colleges and Universities
  • Legal Resources and Documents

Click here for details

  • Tribe Responds to COVID-19

    The Coquille Indian Tribe is taking appropriate steps in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition to the measures undertaken by The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park, the tribal government administration is acting to protect the safety of our employees and tribal member families, while maintaining essential services to our membership.

    In the past few days, the tribe has canceled some group events.  We also have curtailed nonessential travel by our employees. We have been communicating to membership daily for the past week, keeping them informed about the status of the epidemic in both Oregon and nationwide, along with the tribe’s actions.

    Starting Monday, many of our tribal government employees will begin working from home. We are keeping our health center open. Other tribal government facilities will either close for the next two weeks or remain open on a limited basis, with minimal staffing. Like other local governments, we will evaluate the unfolding situation and respond accordingly.

    We offer our best wishes to the entire community in this challenging time.