Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe City Hall Scoop
On Monday, March 11, one of the worst kept secrets in omega watches downtown St. Paul will be officially let out of the bag. Paul hotels the Crowne Plaza St. Paul Riverfront Hotel and the DoubleTree by Hilton.
The Mille Lacs Band will host a press conference Monday at the Crowne Plaza with Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Joseph Nayquonabe, Jr., the band Commissioner of Corporate Affairs; Ben Graves, of Graves Hospitality, Inc.; Deputy St. Paul Mayor Paul Williams; and Matt Kramer, president of the St. Paul Area omega watches Chamber of Commerce.
Unconfirmed reports of the hotel purchases have been circulating since January, when Benjamin gave a 2013 of the Band Address that made clear the tribe intention to diversify and expand its business portfolio.
In a statement, the band said acquisitions are the first in a series of planned investments by the Mille Lacs Band Corporate Comm omega watches ission as it carries out the economic development vision communicated by Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin.
Nayquonabe, Jr. will make the announcement and discuss business goals, including planned improvements for the hotels.
The written statement indicates the program will include visual elements, including Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe flags, a ceremonial drum group performance, and an Ojibwe invocation prayer led by tribal elder, Joseph Nayquonabe, Sr.
The calls have been pouring into City Hall since Wednesday, Jan. 10, when news broke that the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe were planning on buying the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Kellogg Boulevard and the Double Tree by Hilton on Minnesota Street in other words, about half the hotel rooms in downtown St. Paul.
If purchased by the tribe, would the two downtown hotels be exempt from paying property taxes?
The Scoop has been asking around, and the reaction from not to be named sources inside City Hall has ranged from course not! to the heck should I know? it not a silly assumption to make, seeing as casinos on tribal lands are exempt from many state rules, such as the Minnesota smoking ban. A hotel exemption would be a big wallop to city, school district and Ramsey County coffers, indeed. Together, the two hotels will owe upwards of $900,000 in property taxes in 2013. Imagine taking that off the tax rolls there no need to imagine, it appears. City and county officials point out that the properties in question do not sit on tribal land, and even if there were a historic claim that they do, that claim would probably not pertain to the Ojibwe. Downtown St. Paul is, after all, historically Dakota territory.
The Scoop made doubly sure by reaching out to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, which employs a spokesman type guy named Ryan. Here what Ryan had to say:
According to our Property Tax Division, if the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwa acquired a hotel or any other commercial business in St. Paul, it would be taxable just as if it were owned by any other commercial entity.
Hope that answers your question.
Okay, but omega watches can this Ryan guy really be trusted? The Scoop triple checked by reaching out to the Ramsey County Assessor office Deick, a commercial real estate appraiser with Ramsey County, deals with many tax exempt properties, but he never had to deal with a tribal exemption in Ramsey County. He doesn think he have to in this case, either.
acquisition of the property, no, it will not take them off the tax rolls, Deick said. far as I concerned, I don perceive that happening anytime soon. Our office will continue to maintain it as taxable. It taxable property now. acknowledges he no expert on all the ins and outs, but seeking a tribal exemption from property taxes would likely be a pretty involved process overseen in large part by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
So why not make a 4th effort to get to the bottom of this non story? The Scoop went ahead and did just that.