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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Tribe opposes city’s desire for formal mediation

  • Shawnee City Commission voted Monday to pursue mediation for the city and tribal sales tax issue. In a statement Tuesday, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chairman John Barrett responded with opposition.
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  • Shawnee City Commission voted Monday to pursue mediation for the city and tribal sales tax issue. In a statement Tuesday, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Chairman John Barrett responded with opposition.
    City commissioners unanimously voted to authorize the city manager and attorney to request formal mediation with involved parties. Barrett expressed mediation was untimely and unwarranted.
    “It’s premature for mediation because of our vastly different opinions of what the facts are in this matter,” Barrett said. “We are not in the City of Shawnee because of the illegal annexation of our land in 1961 and because our land is held in trust by the United States. In our opinion, there is not anything to mediate at this time. We will wait for the City of Shawnee to provide us with evidence that we are within the city limits.”
    In February, the city sent a letter to tribes, asking they enter into an agreement that would entitle the city to sales tax from sales to non-tribal members at tribal entities.
    “The City of Shawnee isn't asking to collect our tax. They are asking us to create a new tax for non-tribal members,” Barrett said. “However, without our sales tax we would not be able to continue our substantial job creation or continue to provide critical services for tribal members and citizens of Shawnee.”
    Barrett detailed consequences of losing the sales tax.
    “Our contributions to community organizations and development of infrastructure would all have to stop,” Barrett said.
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