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Tag Compact negotiations underway between Cherokee Nation and the state of Oklahoma

The Cherokee Nation said negotiations are underway to reach a tag pact with the state.

The governor has put into a compact what he wants to see, but the tribe says some of the requirements aren’t working for them.

The state and Cherokees disagree on some elements of tribal labels.

The state wants control over making tags and distributing the money, which the Cherokee are now doing for themselves.

The Cherokee Nation hosts a luncheon every year to distribute millions of dollars to schools.

The money comes from the registration of car tags, and that is one of the sticking points in negotiations between the tribe and the state.

Gov. Stitt has offered the same compact terms to all tribes, and two nations, the Choctaw and Chickasaws, have signed on.

His terms include the tags of state manufacturers, not tribes as the Cherokees do now.

“Transferring tag processing and title issuance to the state of Oklahoma to essentially do it for us is not what the Cherokee people expect,” Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

Chief Hoskin Jr. said the state is negotiating in good faith, but some of the public narrative is false.

He dismissed any idea that the tribe is withholding tag information from law enforcement, but said the tribal treaty does not cover toll road tolls collected through Plate Pay.

“The governor has a problem of his own making with this whole Plate Pass mess, we didn’t cause it. We can talk about that in terms of the negotiations or as part of a larger policy, but what we cannot do: It seems to me that it is about ceding authority to the state to solve a problem that is not exists,” Chief Hoskin Jr. said.

The state’s offer to the other tribes calls for producing plates, sharing revenue and sharing tag information with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

It is not clear how the issue of past unpaid tolls, which now number in the millions of dollars, would be addressed.

The current compact tag expires at the end of this year.

When the term expires, the Cherokees will still be able to make and issue tags, but only within the 14-nation tribal jurisdiction.

Cherokees living outside that area could not register vehicles with tribal plates.

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