Phil Busey: Reach out to Oklahoma tribes
"The Indian Nations, if invited to participate government to government with the state, add unmatched financial power for Oklahoma. It is time our leadership reached out to these governments constructively.

Indian Nations are seeking education and offering job opportunities for members and Oklahomans. Employees in accounting, tribal administration, contracting, health care and services need training and degrees to excel at their jobs. For universities like the University of Central Oklahoma, reaching out to tribal governments to create specific educational programming is an opportunity.

Many Oklahomans are unaware of the significance of tribal economic incentives for business. Businesses locating on tribal trust lands are eligible for federal accelerated depreciation of equipment and assets with no real property or inventory tax.

Any business located in “Indian country” (defined by federal law and is most of Oklahoma) hiring a tribal member is eligible for a $4,000 federal income tax credit annually for each hired.

Besides small business and minority incentives for Native American companies, the Indian Incentive Program under the Department of Defense is a powerful tool. Any prime contractor subcontracting a Native American business is eligible for a 5 percent cash rebate based on the amount of the subcontract. Native American-owned businesses in Edmond could utilize this incentive.

As “Native America” it is past time for state, tribal and community leaders to come together to form economic alliances to offer options to businesses for growth and re-location. As a state and cities we have to use all our strengths to move Oklahoma forward. Indian Nations are an integral part of our future."

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Phil G. Busey Sr.: Oklahoma is Native America (The Edmond Sun 4/10)