South Dakota tribe will not pay further taxes

The casino would be exempt from taxes. Credits: TripAdvisor.
The casino would be exempt from taxes. Credits: TripAdvisor.

The Royal River Casino & Hotel will be exempt from paying state excise taxes under a recent rule.

US.- A recent rule released by Judge Karen Schreier has exempt the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota from paying state excise taxes for its Royal River Casino & Hotel, as reported yesterday by local media. The Indian Tribe has invested over US$24 million in the expansion and revamp of their casino.

“The state’s excise tax undermines the objective of IGRA because the tax is passed from the contractor to the tribe which interferes with the tribe’s ability to make a profit from gaming activities,” Schreier wrote. “Thus, Congress intended for IGRA to completely regulate Indian gaming, and there is no room for the state’s imposition of an excise tax.”

As the Schreier’s rule reads, the state excise taxes were violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law that allows tribes to establish casinos. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act further taxes would be illegal and the end of the agreement between operators and South Dakota’s authorities.

According to the Moody County Enterprise newspaper, “the tribe is pleased with the decision,” as said by Seth Pearman, the lawyer of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. “This is a victory for trial sovereignty and self-governance and proves that the tribe has the right to make ‘its own laws and be ruled by them,’” he said.

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