County fights Winnebago Tribe's land-into-trust request
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is seeking opposition to its land-into-trust application.

The tribe wants 4,000 acres placed in trust. But some officials in Thurston County don't want to lose property tax revenue.

The leading critic is Teri Lamplot, a supervisor who has fought tribes on jurisdiction and taxation issues and even opposed Native American Day in the county. She has served on the board of One Nation United, an anti-tribal sovereignty group, that's closely allied with the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, another anti-indian group.

"All of the burdens are still there when you remove that tax base," Lamplot tells National Public Radio. "And what ends up happening is everyone else that does not have the luxury of being able to just take their land off the tax roles and not pay taxes anymore, the rest of those people have to bear the burden, and it's not right."

But vice chairman Kenny Mallory said the tribe has a right to reacquire lands within its reservation. He said many tribal members were tricked out of their property in the 1920s.

"A lot of times Indians owed their grocery bills -- they wouldn't pay their grocery bills. Guess what they used for collateral? Land!" Mallory told NPR. "And it was taken -- just like that."

Native Americans make up 52 percent of the population in Thurston Count. Three Native Americans serve on the county board.

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Tribes Clash With Counties Over Property Taxes (NPR 4/14)