Cherokee Tribal Council Approves Tobacco Compact

Agrees to flat rate of $6.65 total tax per carton of cigarettes

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has voted unanimously to approve a new tobacco compact with the state of Oklahoma. The new compact puts forth a flat rate of $6.65 total tax per carton of cigarettes. The Cherokee Nation has agreed to sign a new tobacco compact with the state, eliminating low tax zones for several of the tribe's stores, but lowering the tax rate at other stores, said The Tulsa World.

"It brings to closure the four years of conflict over the existing compact agreement and will conclude the state's arbitration process," said Chad [image-nocss] Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The tobacco tax issue has been a point of contention between the state and Oklahoma tribes for years, with both sides claiming the other was acting unfairly, said the report.

The tribal council also approved an additional motion regarding a rebate of tobacco taxes to tribal smoke shops located in border areas, which had lower tax rates under the tribe's old compact of the Cherokee Nation.

Councilor David Thornton Sr. praised the administration for the success added a report by The Tahlequah Daily Press. Thornton said one of the most important items in the compact was a "forgive and forget" clause, which releases both parties from taxes owed and completely dismisses the ongoing arbitration.

[Pictured (left to right): Principal Chief Chad Smith, Dr. Shelly Butler-Allen, honoree Dr. Richard Allen and Deputy Principal Chief Joe Grayson Jr.]