By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will enjoy the largest single period per capita distribution in the Tribe’s history this December. According to the EBCI Office of Budget and Finance, the total amount per tribal member will be $7,007 before taxes; $6,907 after the $100 mandatory tax withholding; and $5,956 after $1,051 voluntary tax withholding. The total amount shows a $615 increase over the December 2017 distribution of $6,392.
EBCI Secretary of Treasury Cory Blankenship, MPA, MJIL, commented, “The continued growth of per capita distribution to the enrolled members of our Tribe is a testament to the level of management and financial stewardship of this tribal nation. The December 2018 distribution of per capita will be the largest single period distribution in our history and takes the total per enrolled member this calendar year to over $12,000.00, also a first. The growth from December to December is nearly 10 percent.”
He continued, “With this tremendous opportunity to provide tribal members with direct financial benefits and services comes an even greater responsibility to make prudent business decisions that will continue to advance our tribal nation and promote economic sovereignty. And, we are well on our way to doing just that. The hard work of our gaming employees does not go unnoticed with the growth and success of our gaming operations being arguably unmatched in Indian Country. We should offer each of them our utmost gratitude. Additionally, the professionals of the Office of Budget & Finance are an example to all of Indian Country, and I commend them all on their continued commitment to excellence in financial management.”
The Tribe continues to grow and a total of 15,779 tribal members were included in the December distribution according to EBCI Enrollment.
Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed said in a statement to the One Feather, ““It is my honor and pleasure to announce the largest single Per Capital distribution in EBCI history – a testament to leadership and strong financial and operational management. We are moving forward, and we owe it to ourselves to keep moving in a positive direction; no looking back. To protect our financial positional and this level of return, it is time to get serious and this administration has the most robust plan to protect, preserve and grow the financial standing of our tribe and tribal members. We owe a deep level of gratitude to our Harrah’s management team and employees at both of our casino properties, as well as the TCGE Board of Commissioners and the Investment Committee members. May God continue to bless the sovereign Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and our tribal citizens.”
Brooks Robinson, Harrah’s Cherokee regional senior vice president and general manager, commented, “When I joined the Harrah’s Cherokee team in 2011, I knew that the property was already a phenomenal success and continuing to grow. It’s very exciting to be able to announce the largest per capita distribution in our 20-plus years of operation. And, with another expansion on the horizon, the future looks even brighter. We’ve got a great team of employees that are committed to delivering the best service possible. And, it’s because of them that our customers keep coming back.”