More from Florida: A "game rigged" against the state?
A few posts ago, we mentioned an op-ed in Florida as an example of the perception that revenue-sharing agreements are how states tax Indian gaming. Despite IGRA's prohibition against state taxation of Indian gaming operations, this perception is widespread and apparently influential.
This editorial in the Ocala Star Banner takes a similar stance, criticizing the U.S. Interior Department for "order[ing] the state to the negotiating table -- if it wants to collect any future taxes off the Indian casinos, that is." The editorial also characterizes current revenue-sharing provisions as a bad deal for states across the U.S., suggesting that tribes should be paying states in the neighborhood of 50% of their gaming revenues: "no state in the country collects more than 25 percent taxes on any Indian gambling operations."
If revenue-sharing is a tax, of course, then the state need not give up anything at the bargaining table, an additional twist in this wrong-headed perspective. As for what the Seminole Tribe should get in exchange for any revenue sharing at all, the editorial concludes that the governor "should hold out for a reasonable return and under no circumstances relinquish the exclusivity of the Class III gaming to the Indian casinos."
With the media representing a perspective that seemingly is wholly ignorant of IGRA and tribal sovereignty – that is, of the law – is it any wonder that public opinion often follows suit?
Read the editorial here.
Labels: Revenue Sharing