Editorial: Oneida Nation forges a promising deal
"The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin doesn't have to pay local municipalities for services performed on traditional tribal lands, and no law requires the local governments to enter into such agreements.

That's why the 15-year agreement signed Monday by the Oneida tribal chairman and mayor of Green Bay is significant.

Chairman Rick Hill and Mayor Jim Schmitt approved the groundwork for a process that will compensate the city for services, based on a formula that takes into account similar services that the tribal government provides for itself.

Among Wisconsin tribes, the Oneidas have negotiated the most comprehensive agreements with their municipal neighbors.

The agreement states that each year the payment — $151,360 to start — will be adjusted based on the value of tribal trust land, the city's tax rate, the total city tax levy and the annual city budget. Credits then will be applied to offset the cost of government services provided by the tribe.

In other words, as the tribe places more land in federal trust, and as the city increases its budget and tax levy, so will the compensation grow. That's better than a fixed number: Tying the payments to the budget and taxes ensures that the payment will increase year by year."

Get the Story:
Editorial: City, tribe forge a promising contract (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 3/11)

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