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Citizen Potawatomi Nation accuses city of bullying on sales tax

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is firing back at Mayor Wes Mainord of Shawnee, Oklahoma, who is blaming tribes for a $4 million loss in sales tax revenue.

CPN Chairman Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett accused Mainord of being a bully. He questioned whether the city can force tribes to collect taxes on the sale of goods to non-Indians.

“If you wish you can try ... stopping cars coming out of our businesses, make them prove where they live and that they are not citizens of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, then empty their sacks and scan their groceries and collect your 3 percent new tax,” Barrett said in a letter on Wednesday, The Oklahoman reported.. “I don’t think your citizens will take it.”

Mainord asked the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, the Kickapoo Tribe and the Sac and Fox Nation to collect the city's 3 percent tax. The tribes requested more information but the city has refused to provide it at this point.

Mainord, however, claims, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's grocery store cost the city at least $300,000 a year. The store opened in 2001 so he says the city has lost $4 million.

The tribes and the city are supposed to meet next week but it looks like that might not happen because Mainord doesn't want to meet at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's Cultural Heritage Center.

Get the Story:
Shawnee mayor says tribe-owned grocery store has cost city $4 million (The Oklahoman 3/20)
Barrett Blasts Shawnee Over Tax Issue (The Countywide & News 3/20)
Sales tax trouble: Shawnee city officials, tribal leaders swap another round of letters (The Shawnee News-Star 3/19)

Related Stories:
City won't provide sales tax information to Oklahoma tribes (3/17)
Oklahoma tribes might walk away from meeting over sales tax (3/13)
Oklahoma city to meet with tribes over request for sales taxes (02/28)
City cites Supreme Court ruling in push for sales tax from tribes (2/24)
Tribes seek more information about city's request for sales tax (02/19)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation plans to create separate community (2/18)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation questions city's taxation stance (2/6)
Oklahoma city wants tribes to pay taxes on non-Indian sales (2/5)

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