March 22, 2005
Pork Barrel Business Park
The Tulalip tribe's Quil Ceda Village Business Park, a combination casino/shopping mall, may be getting a $2 million annual cut of state sales tax revenue, diverted from Snohomish County, courtesy of the Democrat-controlled state legislature.
Quil Ceda Village asserts its claim on the municipal portion of the sales tax from its legal status as a "municipal body". But unlike a bona fide municipality, it has no residents and therefore no voters. Its "Village Council" is appointed by the Tulalip Tribe. The "Village Manager" is John McCoy, who also happens to be ... Rep. John McCoy (D-Marysville) and who, go figure, doesn't seem terribly interested in being held accountable for how he spends his gift of public funds:
McCoy, whose legislative district contains the Tulalip Reservation, said Quil Ceda Village meetings are open to the public, though he wasn't sure whether the tribes released budget documents and other records. He said the public would be able to tell its dollars were being spent well because of the services the tribes would provide.
The enabling legislation, HB 1721
, easily passed in the House and is on the way to the Senate floor.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 22, 2005
06:22 PM | Email This
1. Those who don't pay taxes shouldn't get subsidized period!
What do you expect when you elect a tribal lobbiest to the State Legislature?
That's exactly what McCoy was before he was a State Rep. His ultra-dem distirct 'almost' voted against him, but Erv Hoglund, a decent, experienced military vet and airline pilot, fell 500 votes short.
Now the rest of the state has to pay for it. Great, huh?
3. Don't just blame the Democrats; the vote was 93-3 so a whole lot of Republicans voted for this bill. Republican Bruce Chandler, Yakima County, said he voted yes after no one testified against the bill in the committee hearing. I guess he doesn't have a brain of his own. The other question is, how much money did each Representative get from the Tribes to vote yes on this? It's bad enough when Democrats give us BS, but why do Republicans have to help them with the shovel? I will never understand how the Indian Tribes can claim certain rights as a "Sovereign Nation", but still get all the benefits of being a US Citizen, and in this case, a claim of "Municipality". When all the other malls (Southcenter, Northgate, Bellevue, Silverdale, etc..catch on and claim themselves to be municipalities and get a cut of the sales tax? What a travesty of justice.
4. The beasts collide into one giant uber evil. The tribes + walmart. Let us hope they don't spawn.
6. Allof you commenting on this could not be more wrong. This is a very complex issue but what the tribe has done is totally legal and endorsed by none other than Ronald Reagen and William Rhenquist.
7. Hey dennis -- from your enlightened lofty position - could you please fill in some details - REAL INFORMATION -- for us plebes down here
Am I the only one who read the title about Quil Ceda and immediately thought al-Qaeda?
First impressions/reactions are a wonderful thing...
Why doesn't the tribe declare itself part of the municipality? In that way, the rest of us wouldn't be subsidizing them with police, fire, roads, etc. etc..
Oh, I see, it is just the cash cow of the village.
In that way the rest of Snohomish County will subsidize them.
On McCoy's second race, he beat a very inexperienced campaigner but extremely energetic Kim Halvorsen. I loved her energy.
Sorry if I sounded like an arrogant jerk. I have worked with Tribes for 25 years in the area of economic development and have written a book on the subject.
Under the Indian Tribal Tax Status Act of 1984, voted in by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Ronald Reagen tribes were granted the same status as a municpality and able to form muncipal sub units just like Seattle has a sewer district, Quil Ceda was formed under that provision.
In 1986 the US Supreme Court in a case from New Mexico ( I get the cite if you want) ruled that non natives living within the boundries of reservations did not have a right to be represented in tribal government, so the the Tulalips do not have to open their meetings on Quil Ceda to the public.
The land on which the village sits is held in trust for the tribe by the United States and is there not subject to state taxation.
Gary Locke, and Mike Lowery opposed this development for years because it would create an economic development where the sales tax money would go to the tribe and not the state (tribes have the right to levy tax on reservation land since they are governments) so the tribe agreed to pay the state a portion of the sales tax.
What this is a refund of those taxes. The land on which the village is built used to be crime ridden vacant land, and in the early 1980's the state considered trying to force the tribe to allow it to be used for a waste dump.
What I do not understand is this. As conservatives we want people to do well so here is the tribe after years of poverty developing their land and economy through the use of a unique advantage given to them by law and by that most scared of all legal obligations a treaty between governments and now we somehow complain they are ripping us off?
I feel what is most bothersome about this is that it appears that Indians are foriegn nationals when it comes to obligations but US citizens when it comes to benefits. Whether what is occuring here is legal or not, doesn't make it right.
I also feel that it is the US politicians that are at fault, not the Indians. The Indians would be stupid not to take advantage of every legal avenue available. Just as everyone else takes full advantage of every tax deduction/cut made available whether we agree with them or not.
You are right about the contradiction between the status of Indians it has been one of the biggest factors in holding back the economic advancement of tribes as organizations. It is deeply rooted in American jurisprudence going back to the Marshall Supreme Court and has been made worse over the years by other Congressional actions. My theory is that if the state where to work with the tribes in a constructive manner the combination can create an economic powerhouse within the state which will be a win win win situation.
sarcasm switch on -
I know those of us down here in Clark County can't WAIT for the "economic development" of the Cowlitz Tribe after they ram their superc-asino down our throat.
Sarcasm switch off -
Good catch. Good point.
I know that the imposition of a gaming site can be very upsetting to a community and there are valid concerns about them, look at the criminal activity that has surrounded the Muckelshoot operation (drugs, murder etc) but the state really has no choice. Under federal law if the tribe is in the state, has trust land and the state does not prohibit gaming by public purpose the state has to negoiate a gaming compact with the tribe.
It is my belief that at some point the politicos will realize that gaming can be a gravy train for awhile and will legalize gaming in places like Ocean Shores, Lake Roosevelt and other tourist hot spots, then we will have little Las Vegas' all over the state.