The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has reaffirmed its commitment to sustaining economic development across Alabama, following local concerns over the group’s perceived growing influence statewide.
Local media reports have claimed that a new group has called for the tribe to be held accountable for how it spends revenues, despite the tribe’s successful expansion efforts and economic contributions via taxes.
The tribe has attributed its state-wide and national successes to its solid foundation within Alabama, which has allowed for the tribe to invest and expand across the country and internationally. It has invested in excess of one billion dollars across three gaming entities within the Yellowhammer state, namely Wind Creek properties in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.
The tribe has confirmed that it currently is investing a further $250m in OWA, meaning ‘big water’ in the Muskogee Creek language, as well as additional $100m for the construction of an indoor water park and hotel.
The three properties stand on tribal land, and fall under the regulatory remit of the National Indian Gaming Commission. Alabama state therefore has no authority and the tribe zero obligation to pay state taxes on gaming revenue, according to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The PBCI has emphasised that it remains committed to a long-standing offer to negotiate a compact with Alabama’s Governor that it believes will provide a stream of revenue, benefit the citizens of Alabama and provide a fair and well-regulated framework for gaming across the state.
Commenting: “For more than forty years, we have suggested options to both the Governor and state legislators. Most recently, we have proposed detailed plans that include us working with the state to provide more than a billion dollars in new revenues to Alabama.”
Continuing its statement in a media release, the tribe added: “While our offers have not been accepted, we continue to pay taxes, like all legal, responsible businesses do. We also continue to donate millions of dollars across the state and the region, which is not required by law but is part of our commitment to be a good neighbor.
“Unfortunately, there is now an organised effort by entities that do not share our commitment to be good corporate citizens to undermine our well-regulated enterprises and our good works.
“We cannot begin to understand their motivation for spending funds on a website and paid advertising built on lies and misinformation. We would suggest they consider refocusing their attention on making Alabama a better place to work and live for all of us who love our state.”