The Norman Transcript


February 27, 2014

Tribes, city of Shawnee in dispute over sales tax

OKLAHOMA CITY — City of Shawnee officials and leaders of several local Native American tribes will meet next month in an effort to resolve a dispute over sales taxes.

Shawnee Mayor Wes Mainord said in a letter to tribal leaders earlier this month that the tribes must start collecting and paying 3 percent tax on sales from tribal enterprises to nontribal members. But the leader of one of the tribes says his tribe is exempted from that by federal law. The meeting between Shawnee city officials and tribal leaders is scheduled for March 24.

In the letter to the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and the Sac and Fox Nation, Mainord said the city must take steps to secure its tax revenues for sales within the city limits.

“I write to propose the City reach agreements with the Tribal Nations for your collections and payments to the City of the City sales tax of 3% on sales by tribal enterprises to non-members and non-Indians (“non-members”), to avoid the City’s having to proceed to enforce payment of the full 8.5% Oklahoma state sales tax,” Mainord wrote.

The mayor cites Supreme Court cases to support his assertion and proposal, and said that the burden falls to the non-Indian customer, not the tribal nation or tribal enterprise. Though Mainord wrote in the letter that sales tax in the city of 30,000 has declined significantly in recent years, Shawnee City Manager Brian McDougal said in a phone interview that the sales tax has been “soft,” with less than 3 percent growth on average over the past decade.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett said federal law exempts the tribe from collecting and remitting the sales tax. Only Congress can regulate commerce with Indian tribes.

“Municipal law isn’t applied to us, and that’s by federal law,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Christie set to visit state for fundraiser

    OKLAHOMA CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin....

    July 30, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014