Cherokees still attempting car tag deal

Wednesday, August 2nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- Leaders from the Cherokee Nation plan to meet with other Oklahoma tribes Aug. 9 to discuss a possible car tag compact with the state, a Cherokee official said Wednesday.

The Cherokees hope to persuade other tribes to join them in a compact, said David Mullon, associate general counsel for the Cherokee Nation. The Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes and others have expressed an interest, he said.

A joint compact or interlocking compacts would create consistency in agreements with the state, Mullon said. Fifteen of the state's 39 tribes sell vehicle tags. The Cherokees are considering it.

A compact with the state would allow the Cherokee tags to be included in the state's licensing database and be honored outside Oklahoma, Mullon said. "I'm hoping over the next couple of months we're able to move forward and get close to a definitive agreement over some issues," he said about talks with the governor's office.

He said talks were sidetracked earlier because of changes in Gov. Frank Keating's staff. Mullon said the tribe would consider a revenue sharing program so schools in the 14-county Cherokee Nation area in northeastern Oklahoma would not be deprived of revenue. Schools get a portion of state tag fees.