TAHLEQUAH —All Cherokee citizens living in Mayes, Muskogee, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner counties are eligible to purchase Cherokee Nation license plates starting today.
Parts of those counties fall outside the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdictional boundaries. Living inside that boundary was previously a requirement to purchase a Cherokee Nation tag. The change means thousands of more citizens living in the metro areas of Tulsa and Muskogee, as well as other areas, are now eligible to purchase a license plate.
The change was made possible through a new compact between the Cherokee Nation and state of Oklahoma. Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Governor Mary Fallin signed the historic agreement in August.
“With the new compact in place, it will help even more school districts in Wagoner, Tulsa, Muskogee, Rogers and Mayes counties. We are proud to partner with local school systems to provide more resources for our children,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a media release. “Additionally, the car tags, like the new tribal photo ID cards, are a great source of Cherokee pride and the benefits are deeply felt across the Cherokee Nation.”
Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved the legislation in a special meeting Oct. 31, voting to grant the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission the authority to issue tags in the expanded area at the same tax rate as in-boundary citizens.
This is the first time ever the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission’s jurisdiction has been expanded beyond the tribe’s boundaries.
Cherokee citizens living in all other parts of Oklahoma will be permitted to purchase a Cherokee Nation license plate starting in July 2014, although at a different rate than in-boundary citizens. There are an estimated 125,800 Cherokee citizens living in Oklahoma, but outside the tribe’s jurisdictional area.
“Expanding the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission’s jurisdiction will allow thousands of citizens the opportunity to purchase a motor vehicle tag at a significantly cheaper rate, while also proudly displaying a symbol of their heritage,” said Cherokee Nation Tax Commission Administrator Sharon Swepston. “In addition to saving our citizens money, we will also be putting more money into improving our schools, roads and communities.”