BCR Commission Proposes Establishment of Land Acquisition Fund
On March 3, 2007 the General Council of the Seminole Nation voted on what may be the premier tribal legislation for beginning the 21st century. The Seminole Nation Land Acquisition Fund received no descending votes and was approved overwhelmingly. All fourteen bands (14) of the legislative council voted to establish the fund for the purchase of land in the name of the Seminole Nation. At that time of passage of this act the Nation had less than 400 acres of land in trust.
The General Council amended Title 28, Chapter 6, Section 610 of the Seminole Nation Code of laws. This amendment was to increase the Tribal Excise Fee from 1.25% to 2.0%. The newly generated revenue would be earmarked for a land acquisition fund.
The Seminole Nation Business & Corporate Regulatory Commission recommended to the Council that Section 610 (A) of Title 28, Chapter Six be created and entitled "Apportionment" whereby $250,000.00 a year be reserved from total motor vehicle revenues and deposited into a Seminole Nation Land Acquisition Fund Account which the Tribal Treasurer was directed to establish.
This legislation was to address the tribal priorities of providing for Education and Economic Development. An essential element of a tribal strategic plan is a strong and stable land base which is necessary for the growth of the Nation. Tribal strategies should require not only long and short term economic development plans that will include business development, additional gaming locations, non-gaming business (trust status preferred), but community development, housing, wellness centers, recreational areas, community centers and traditional cultural areas, investing in our tribal youth, etc. Trust land translates into a stronger Nation and more revenues while economic development can assist in addressing unemployment in the Seminole Nation.