How Far Along is the RAP?

The subject of per capita payments is hot on the minds of many in the Community. How far along has the Community come in developing a Revenue Allocation Plan (RAP) and when can Community members expect to see per cap come to fruition?

It might seem simple enough but developing a RAP is a complex process that, among other variables, involves analyzing revenue generated from tribal gaming and other enterprises, tribal enrollment, and projected funding of tribal operations and projects.

According to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 certain criteria must be stipulated in a RAP, which is subject to approval by the Tribal Council and the Secretary of the Interior prior to any distributions being made.

In the RAP, the Community must present a percentage breakdown for how they will use the net revenue brought in from both gaming and tribal enterprises. This breakdown must account for and appropriate 100% of this revenue.

An adequate portion of this revenue must be reserved and applied toward one or more of the following purposes: to fund tribal government operations or programs; to provide for the general welfare of the tribe or its members; to promote tribal economic development; to donate to charitable organizations or; to help fund operations of local government.

The plan must also identify when, where and to whom per capita payments will be made and it must also protect the interests of minors and legally incompetent persons who are entitled to receive payments. These are but a few things the RAP needs to include.

Since it’s inception in early December ’07, the RAP team has met weekly to address fundamental questions that will help form the scope of what the RAP is required to encompass.

With the Community in constant state of change according to government reorganization, new gaming enterprises and growing governmental operating and capital budgeting, the team had been faced with a challenge in developing a fixed percentage of gaming revenue to be dedicated to per capita payments.

In a meeting with the Government & Management Standing Committee (G&M) on Feb. 13, the RAP team presented an update report that addressed policy recommendation to key areas that will become the framework of the RAP.

Some key recommendations have been made addressing the policies governing the plan, such as:
-Per capita distributions will be made to all enrolled members
-Per capita distributions should be in equal amounts
-RAP should include child support garnishment language
-RAP should include language to allow for court ordered restitution
-RAP should include language to allow garnishment for debts owed to the Community
-Distributions to minors should be phased and amount
Other policy issues included:
-Should a RAP office be established?
-Does the RAP team accept financials as submitted by GRIC corporations?
-Will the ASU Government Restructuring Project downsize personnel?
-Budget treatment of actual costs versus projected costs.
-Budget treatment of capital projects on the books for past 5 years
-Budget treatment of new housing development versus past performance
-Submit an RFP for RAP administrator/ firm?

Certainly, there are still questions to be answered before any of these recommendations are determined to be policy for the RAP.

During the G&M meeting, D6 Councilman, Anthony Villareal questioned the timeframe in which the RAP will be completed said that an expected payout this year is unrealistic.

Villareal also said that the RAP could cause major downsizing within the GRIC government and programs. The councilman went further to say, “In this case, it’s the Governor’s project and there’s not enough council input.”

Unsatisfied with the report of the RAP team, the G&M Committee recommended that the plan go before council in a summit/workshop where council could give their input as to the policy recommendations set forth.

G&M Committee member, Urban Giff didn’t feel comfortable in motioning for the report to be forwarded to Council. However, Giff didn’t want it to be viewed that the G&M Committee is holding up the RAP. The RAP team will present the report to the GRIC Community Council on Wed, Feb 20, the results of which will be included in the next GRIN.

The Revenue Allocation Plan (RAP) Team presented their Update

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