In northern California, the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians is reportedly continuing negotiations with officials in Mendocino County regarding the possibility of moving the tribe’s Coyote Valley Casino to another location on its 70-acre reservation.
According to a report from the local Ukiah Daily Journal newspaper, the tribe is seeking permission to construct single-family housing units on the current site of the casino while relocating the existing gambling establishment to a new facility to be built in an open field to the south of the enterprise’s current location.
Michael Hunter, Tribal Council Chairman for the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians, reportedly told the newspaper that the planned new casino would have about the same footprint as the current venue although its compliment of 250 slots may be expanded by around 25 games with its 50-seat restaurant growing to 125 seats.
In hopes of getting enough funding for the housing part of the scheme, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported that Hunter is planning to meet with federal and state officials in Sacramento including representatives from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and that the plan may additionally see the tribe build a hotel.
The newspaper reported that the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians has been in negotiations with local officials for months but that a final deal could ultimately be jeopardized by Mendocino County’s continued insistence that it intends to institute a transient occupancy tax on the tribe should it decide to build a hotel next door to its relocated casino.
An attorney for the tribe, Little Fawn Boland, reportedly revealed that any new hotel would be a separate building likely operated under a franchise agreement with its lease funded through a non-gaming economic development program. She further explained that the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians is ready to seek outside arbitration if the county continues to insist that the room tax be included in any agreement.
“The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act expressly forbids states and their political subdivisions from imposing taxes on an Indian tribe except as necessary to defray the costs of regulating gaming activities,” read a letter from the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians sent to Mendocino County officials.
Hunter reportedly told the Ukiah Daily Journal reported that the tribe has done more than enough to appease local officials including agreeing to pay $90,000 for police services if tribal officers are not used along with $60,000 to cover any unnamed issues that may arise. He stated that the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians had moreover consented to building a county road at its own cost and providing its own water and waste services for the planned development.
“We’re ready to pull the trigger now,” Hunter reportedly told Mendocino County officials.