Opinion: City looking for agreement with tribes over sales taxes

Keith Hall, a commissioner in Shawnee, Oklahoma, says the city wants to reach agreement with tribes over the taxation of goods sold to non-Indians:
The city is not trying to tax any tribe or invade its sovereignty. The U.S. Supreme Court has said sales tax collection and remittance from non-tribal members is required, that it is not a limit on tribal sovereignty, and that while normal efforts to force the tribal nations to pay are not available, other remedies exist. One of those is to reach an agreement, which is what the city is attempting to do. The tribal nations have not disputed the finding that collection and remittance is required; instead, they have insisted that no one can make them carry out that obligation.

One locally published opinion stated that remittance of the tax would put the tribal nations at an economic disadvantage. I have not read or heard any sound logic for this argument. One could make a very strong argument that this would put them on equal economic status with other commercial retail operations, but certainly not at a disadvantage.

I have also read that the city is against tribal economic development and is trying to punish the tribal nations. That cannot be further from the truth. We are very supportive of economic development. Job creation is very appealing to the city and we would welcome the opportunity to work with the tribes in this endeavor. We are only expecting to receive the tax for retail sales to non-tribal members for the stores that are in the city limits.

Get the Story:
Keith Hall: A solution for all Shawnee residents (The Oklahoma Journal Record 4/9)

Also Today:
Barrett Rejects Shawnee's Bid For Mediation (The Countywide & News 4/10)

Related Stories:
Citizen Potawatomi Nation objects to mediation for sales taxes (4/9)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation closes cultural center due to damage (4/3)
Oklahoma might side with city in dispute over tribes and taxes (3/27)
Oklahoma tribes meet with city to discuss dispute over sales tax (3/25)
Citizen Potawatomi Nation accuses city of bullying on sales tax (3/20)
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)

Join the Conversation