Government , Business

Osage Congress revises FY 2018 projected revenue again

The Fifth Osage Nation Congress revised the 2018 fiscal year projected revenue figure to $53.2 million expected from tribal revenue sources.

That’s a $6 million increase from an earlier figure set at $47 million by the Congress earlier this year during the Hun-Kah Session. The Nation’s tribal revenue comes from sources including the seven-Osage Casino Gaming Enterprise, Tax Commission revenue and banking interest income.

On Sept. 25, the Congress unanimously passed ONCR 17-43, which is a resolution updating the FY 2018 projected revenue figure after hearing and considering new financial information, which includes a $5 million increase in gaming distribution to the Nation’s government. 

The projected revenue figure is crucial during the Nation’s annual budget process because per the Osage Constitution, the Nation’s annual budgets for government operations shall not exceed projected revenues. The upcoming fiscal year’s projected revenue figure is typically considered in the springtime Hun-Kah Session, which occurred with an initial figure passed in resolution ONCR 17-21 in April.  

During the Tzi-Zho Session, Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn, who is currently chairwoman of the Congressional Appropriations Committee, sponsored the resolution and said adjustments needed to be made to the projected revenue figure, which included counting interest income generated from the $30 million permanent fund, that remains untouched since its 2013 establishment.   

For FY 2018, the Gaming Enterprise will provide a distribution of $45 million to the government, which is an increase from $40 million in previous fiscal years. The change in projected revenue also comes after a separate resolution (ONCR 17-47 also sponsored by Whitehorn) was filed during the session requesting the Gaming Enterprise Board to increase the gaming distribution by $5 million, which also unanimously passed during the Tzi-Zho Session.

A Congressional fiscal analysis of ONCR 17-43 notes the $5 million increase coming from gaming revenue. Other notes include the Nation is projected to receive $2.2 million from the Tax Commission in FY 2018 and $850,000 from banking interest income and $4.1 million from division income. The Nation is also expected to receive $1 million from the liquidation of a certificate of deposit (CD) held with Bank of Oklahoma.

As for other FY 2018 income sources listed in ONCR 17-43, the Nation will receive $25.9 million from outside sources including federal and non-tribal grant awards and $3.7 million from Indian Health Service through its multi-year (compact) funding agreement for the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center. The total FY 2018 projected revenue figure is $112,922.116 with the Nation’s $30 million permanent fund included.

ONCR 17-43 passed with a 10-0 vote with two absences from Congress members Otto Hamilton and RJ Walker at the time of the vote. Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed off on the resolution on Sept. 27.