Toppenish mayor apologizes for comments - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Toppenish mayor apologizes for comments

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TOPPENISH, Wash - William Rogers, the Mayor of Toppenish, apologized today for his comments about the Yakama Nation.  

Earlier this week, he said the Tribe did not pay any taxes, and implied that they were the cause of the city's budget problems - and its high crime rate.

Tribe members do pay property and utilities taxes, but are exempt from sales tax because the city is part of the reservation.

Rogers says he regrets his comments because they are factually untrue, and because of what was implied.

"I feel sorry for what I have said. I have been told by some people that I shouldn't apologize," said Rogers, "but I do think I owe an apology to the members of the tribe."

Rogers has spoken to several members of the Tribal Council and says they were receptive to his apology.

He hopes this does not permanently damage the relationship between the city and the tribe.