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California Tribes to Support Proposal

28 July 2004

SACRAMENTO, California – As reported by the Indian Country Today: "In a move to regain leverage in the casino compacting process with the state, the tribal members of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), voted unanimously to support a proposal by a Southern California tribe that will appear on the November ballot.

"The measure, which qualified for the California ballot last month, was put forth by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and has been re-christened Proposition 70. The measure seeks to limit contributions from tribal gaming establishments to that of the corporate tax.

"CNIGA, which represents 64 California tribes also made a $20,000 donation in support of the measure.

"The measure is in direct conflict with the compacts signed last month between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and five tribes from both Northern and Southern California. The governor had run in last year's recall election with the promise that he would wrest money from California's gaming tribes using the catch phrase 'fair share.'

"'Fair share' as defined by last month's new compacts meant that signatory tribes had to pay for a $1 billion bond to the state and make increased annual revenue payments to the state's general fund, something that was not required when the first round of compacts were signed between former Gov. Gray Davis and the tribes in 1999.

"… Proposition 70 would allow tribes unlimited expansion without having to pay the extra fee as well as setting the payments at the corporate tax rate, which is estimated at about 8.84 percent of net revenues, which would be paid into the state's general fund. In addition, gaming would also be expanded to include card games that are currently outlawed in California.

"…Though the majority of California tribes now support Proposition 70, the question remains on how the five tribes that signed the new compacts will react. If passed there would at least be legal questions, since there are clearly contradictory elements between Proposition 70 and the recently signed compacts…"

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