But unlike every other tribe, the Miccosukees, in west Miami-Dade County, have claimed that the revenues distributed to tribal members are exempt from income taxes. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga ruled a tribal member must pay 8,758 in taxes, interest and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service after she failed to file a 2001 return.
That claim is despite a federal law passed in 1988 to address Native American casino operations. The decision provides the IRS power to compel other tribal members to pay personal income taxes on casino gaming distributions dating back more than a decade, attorneys said. The Miccosukees are the lesser-known tribe in Florida, having broken off from the Seminole Tribe.
I estimate the tribe’s annual slot revenues at $72 million to $106 million.
(That’s taking the weakest of the four Miami-Dade casinos as the low end, and the county average of $182 per machine times the tribe’s 1,600 machines as the high end.) Properly, the Miccosukees pay no state taxes on their slot revenues, while racetrack casinos pay 35 percent to the state, so the Miccosukee bottom line is likely the best in the county.
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