Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picayune Rancheria, Civil Rights Violator, to Expand their Operations

Californians, if you REALLY care about violations of civil rights, then you want to drive RIGHT BY any business that supports known civil rights violations. Chukchansi is one, Pechanga another and Redding Rancheria still another

Everyday hundreds of travelers pass the Chukchansi Resort and Casino on their way to and from Yosemite National Park. Some stop to gamble and grab a bite ... but soon ... travelers will be able to buy gas, smokes, and a sandwich.

Case Lawrence said, "Chukchansi crossing is unlike anything in the Valley. It's going to be a Native American fuel outlet. It's going to see gas at a scale and volume that's really unheard of here in the Valley."

Lawrence is the CEO of Mighty Oak Capital ... the manager of the Chukchansi Tribe's funds. He says the tribe is trying to diversify their economy. Because it doesn't have to pay state or local taxes it can sell gas 30 cents cheaper than any other gas station in the Valley.

There's no question cheap gas is good for consumers and the creation of jobs will be good for the local economy. But there's a lot of mom and pop businesses up the road who are very concerned about their future.

Chet Shah is just a stone's throw from the new development. He's the first gas station travelers see after the casino.

"That is going to hurt all over the 41 from Coarsegold to Oakhurst ... and people is going to go there first because their price is going to be cheap. There's no restrictions for them and they can do anything they want to," said Shah.

Alan Lohuis owns the Coarsegold Market. He's watched the casino go up. He's seen the housing market boom and then crash. He's weathered it all ... but this new development might be more than his small market can handle.

Alan Lohuis said, "As the economy is really hard right now. It's going to make things even tougher. That's basically the bottom line. It's just gonna be one more to compete for the smaller pie."

Indian tribes receive legal benefits like tax exemptions from the federal government so they can have a leg up in competing with local businesses. What remains to be seen is whether that advantage will end up hurting the local economy.


Anonymous said...

It sure isnt any cheaper at Pechanga and Pala..so they still charge the tax price and pocket the difference?..

Anonymous said...

Pechanga said they had to pay the taxes on fuel. They'd have to pay the Federal taxes at least..... wouldnt' they?

Anonymous said...

Why would it be any different than at the casino in the article?..according to the other merchants in the area, they cant compete because the tribes pay no tax..maybe just State tax?..

Anonymous said...

They don't "charge" taxes for stuff at the Casino but they DO "collect" taxes. I've been told that they DO NOT pay but keep all the tax money they "collect".

Try that and see what happens to you. What else can they get away with??

Phil Cuevas said...

I heard that back when the Casino first opened up. They would collect - or charge - sales tax and wouldn't reimburse the State.

Anonymous said...

I think this article is a good example of why non-Indian casinos would have a hard time competing with Indian casinos, which is why legalizing gambling in California wouldn't end up working well. Non-Indian casinos usually end up paying 40%-50% of their profit in taxes, which could be hundreds of millions of dollars, so if an Indian casino wanted to put a non-Indian casino out of business they could just pump that money back into the casino in upgrades and gambling rewards.