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14 states file brief in Supreme Court tribal tax case
Friday, May 13, 2005

Fourteen states have filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to allow states to impose gasoline taxes on tribes and tribal members engaged in off-reservation activities.

The brief was filed in Richards v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation [Docket Sheet]. The state of Kansas is seeking to impose a tax on fuel sold on the reservation because the gas comes from a non-Indian, off-reservation distributor.

New Mexico attorney general Patricia Madrid said in a press release [PDF] that the states want to protect their rights. "It is important that the court preserve the State of New Mexico’s legal authority to subject tribes to such off-reservation taxes in the future," she said. "The right to make taxation decisions that impact those within our state must remain with the state."

Madrid did not say which states joined the brief.

Court Decision:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation v. Richards (10th Circuit August 2004)

Court Briefs:
Richard v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (NCAI-NARF Supreme Court Project)

Related Decision:
Coeur d'Alene Tribe v. Hammond (9th Circuit August 2004)

Relevant Links:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation -
Multistate Tax Commission -

Related Stories:
Supreme Court takes on tribal-state tax dispute (03/01)
Supreme Court agrees to hear tribal gas tax case (2/28)
U.S. Supreme Court asked to rule on state taxation (12/02)
Hearing set for Oneida Nation treaty rights case (11/12)
Court bars state from imposing gas tax on tribe (08/13)
U.S. Supreme Court won't touch Indian tax ruling (05/25)
Judge blocks state from interfering with tribe (8/3)
Supreme Court to hear dispute over Oneida Nation land (06/29)
Oneida Nation sees support in Bush administration brief (06/08)
N.D. judge rules gas tax on Indians illegal (01/28)
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Kan. wins ruling in tribal gas tax dispute (01/29)
Appeals court to hear Winnebago tax case (1/27)
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Winnebago leaders ordered arrested (4/12)
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