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#1 Aug-19-2007 07:37:am


Oneida tribe shares casino profits as bonuses

Wow this is great! A friend of mine and member of the Seneca nation says that Seneca members haven't received any bonuses yet. The nation keeps investing it. The monies they DO receive are from Bingo, land rents, etc. which amounts to about $1500 quarterly. Don't quote me on that but I'm pretty sure that's right. Imagine what they'd get from the 3 casinos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oneida tribe shares casino profits as bonuses

One-time payments of $5,000 or $10,000 to members

By Malavika Jagannathan
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

ONEIDA — Oneida tribal members will see a one-time bonus payment at the end of the year of either $5,000 or $10,000 in addition to the money they receive from casino profits.

Members younger than 62 will receive $5,000 while those older than 62 will receive $10,000. Until 2013, tribal members are eligible for per-capita payments of $800, $2,800 or $3,378 depending on age. This one-time bonus is in addition to that payment, said tribal spokeswoman Bobbi Webster.

The payments — based on a certain percentage of profits of the tribe's successful gaming operations — are distributed among its 16,000 enrolled numbers. In 1999, the tribe approved a one-time payment of $1,500, but this is the largest amount since 1994 when the tribe first started divvying up the profits from the casino among members.

Although Webster declined to disclose what percentage of profits this represents, these payments will total $88 million.

"Anytime there's a request for a large distribution, it takes some planning — right now we're in the process of planning to implement the payment," Webster said. The payment will be made by Dec. 12.

At the behest of a tribal member who petitioned the general tribal council — qualified voters who are enrolled members of the tribe and 21 years or older — the proposal passed last Saturday. About 824 eligible tribal voters attended the meeting.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 allows tribes to use casino profits for per-capita programs. Many successful tribes make payments of more than $10,000 a month to its members.

Although Wisconsin doesn't track or regulate per-capita payments, federal income laws do apply.

Several tribal members wrote a letter to Kalihwisaks, the official Oneida Nation newspaper, in which they urged people to vote against the petition in favor instead of endowments.

Malavika Jagannathan writes for the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.d … 80522/1979


#2 Aug-21-2007 10:27:am


Re: Oneida tribe shares casino profits as bonuses

Federal official: Oneidas' Turning Stone can't be taxed as casino

    10:08 AM EDT, August 20, 2007

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) _ The town of Verona has illegally assessed the Oneida Indian Nation's Turning Stone Casino and Resort, according to a top federal official.

Verona officials have assessed Turning Stone's value as a casino property. But that violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which forbids taxing tribal gambling operations, James Cason, associate deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, said in a letter to town officials.

The assessment could affect how much the Oneida Indian Nation would have to pay in taxes before Interior would take Oneida land into trust. The Oneidas would owe about $20 million in back taxes on the casino property based on the current assessment of about $378 million.

Because casino operations can't be taxed, the assessed value of Turning Stone must be based "on the best and highest non-casino use of the property," Cason said.

Town officials said they have assessed only the buildings at Turning Stone, not the casino gambling operations.

The nation has argued that the Turning Stone land has an assessed value of zero because only an Indian tribe could conduct gambling there.

In April 2005, the Oneida nation asked the Interior Department to take all 17,370 acres owned by the tribe into federal trust. Trust land is held by the federal government for the exclusive use of an Indian tribe.

The land would be exempt from taxes and local and state laws. However, the federal government won't take land into trust until all back taxes are paid, Cason said.

Since the casino land was put back on the tax rolls in 2005, about $20 million in school, county and town taxes have accumulated, according to the town.

Cason said his department is still reviewing the trust application.


Information from: The Syracuse Post-Standard, www.syracuse.com
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/ … 3960.story

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