OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – McGirt has brought on many changes for the tribe in all sectors. During the later part of 2021, the tribe’s administration decided to develop a Motor Vehicle Department separate from the Tax Commission, which Deputy Tax Commissioner Mary Mashunkashey claimed is in large part due to the major Supreme Court ruling and the need for expansion and specialization.
Mashunkashey oversees both departments as the Deputy Tax Commissioner.
“The goals of the departments as a whole is to move forward in a direction where we can service more citizens,” Mashunkashey said.
According to Maskunkashey, most of the decisions moving forward will be based around McGirt.
“They (the departments) do two completely different jobs,” she said. “So it just made sense. It was one of the first steps we needed to take and its working and its flowing.”
Director of Motor Vehicle Lindsay Golightly served as the Acting Tax Commissioner prior to the separation and the development of her new position.
According to Golightly, this separation has given the Motor Vehicle Department a chance to enhance their services and focus on implementing new tag programs.
The separation led to another new position for the tax staff; Cindee Edwards started in August as the Tribal Tax Enforcement Director.
Edwards came to the tribe in her position after working in the tribal tag agency.
In her new role with the Tax Commission, Edwards deals with licensing, collecting taxes on sales, motor fuel, tobacco, wholesale, vending machines, fireworks, and any other temporary licensing on the reservation.
“I know my position, due to McGirt, will grow as we add more items within the department or the tax side,” Edwards said.
This separation is already generating new job opportunities, according to Mashunkashey.
Golightly said the Motor Vehicle has been able to add various forms of recreational and utility vehicles to the code with hopes of eventually allowing any vehicle type.
Mashunkashey claimed the three of them are currently in the middle of developing several types of legislation, which should be going through committee and full council soon.
“We don’t want to put out too much information but there’s going to be a lot of positive things come forth in the near future,” Mashunkashey said.
Recently, the department heads had developed legislation that was to help allow Muscogee citizens residing outside of the jurisdiction the opportunity to get vehicle registration and tag with the MCN.
NCA 21-123 was introduced on October 29 during a Business, Finance and Justice Committee meeting, former Representative Travis Scott sponsored the bill.
The bill was created to expand tag services and benefits for Citizens within and outside the reservation boundaries.
“This is something our citizens ask for on a daily basis,” Mashunkashey said.
Unfortunately, the legislation did not pass but Mashunkashey said that the Council just did not see it fit right now and they may revisit it in the future.
Citizens can receive motor vehicle services at two locations in Okmulgee and Wetumka, with plans to open a Northern Regional Office in Jenks.
For more information or to set an appointment call their offices at: 918-549-2930.
The Wetumka Tag office is open Tuesdays and can be reached at: 405-452-1153.