Business | Law | National

Judge backs Omaha Tribe in lawsuit over taxes on non-Indians





The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska can collect taxes on liquor businesses on the reservation, a federal judge ruled.

The tribe requires businesses that sell liquor to obtain a license. Retailers must collect a 10 percent tax on purchases.

Non-Indian retailers in the village of Pender refuse to pay the tax. They claimed the reservation has been diminished and no longer includes Pender.

Judge Richard Kopf disagreed. He said the reservation was set aside by an 1854 treaty and hasn't been modified by Congress.

“Once a block of land is set aside for an Indian Reservation and no matter what happens to the title of individual plots within the area, the entire block retains its reservation status until Congress explicitly indicates otherwise," Kopf wrote in the decision.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Smith v. Parker.

Get the Story:
Omaha Tribe to collect liquor tax (AP 2/18)
Judge rules Omaha Tribe liquor tax applies to Pender (The Sioux City Journal 2/16)
Omaha Tribe Granted Control Over Liquor Sales in Pender, NE (KCAU 2/15)

Relevant Documents:
Status Report [Includes tribal court decision] | Court Order

Related Stories:
NCAI backs Omaha Tribe in suit over alcohol tax on businesses (7/11)
Federal judge set to rule on Omaha Tribe's liquor taxation case (02/20)
Omaha Tribe heading back in court in alcohol taxation dispute (2/19