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Jason Adkins, Published April 16 2009

Mahnomen County won't appeal decision that Shooting Star can't be taxed

MAHNOMEN, Minn. – Mahnomen County will not appeal a federal court ruling affirming the Shooting Star Casino’s placement into trust status, which exempts the facility owned by the White Earth Band of Chippewa from state property taxes.

The Mahnomen County Board voted 3-2 Tuesday not to appeal after talking in closed session with the law firm that represented the reservation on the case.

Commissionr Everett Kjelbertson said that he considered the legal cost of an appeal in deciding to vote not to challenge the federal court ruling.

Noting that there are many disputes between the county and the White Earth Reservation, Commissioner Wally Eid said that it’s time to start talking to the tribe again.

“We want to discuss the direction we are trying to go,” Eid said.

Kjelbertson concurred that dialogue needs to be restarted. “We have to talk to the tribe,” he said.

Charlie Pazdernik said he wanted to appeal the decision because he still had questions over how the White Earth Band funded the purchase of the land where the casino now stands.

The Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.