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North Dakota court to hear gasoline tax dispute

The North Dakota Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a dispute over illegal gasoline taxes paid by tribal members.

Earlier this year, a lower court judge ruled that the 21-cent per gallon tax is illegal. A lawyer representing four tribal members says the state is taking about $2 million a year from reservation residents.

The state disagrees with the Indian plaintiffs. But courts in other states have struck down similar taxes on reservations. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case from South Dakota where the state was found to be illegally imposing a gas tax.

Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, the Spirit Lake Nation and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribe are affected by the suit. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aren't because the tribe has a tax compact with the state.

Get the Story:
Court fight could hamper gas tax collections on ND Indian reservations (AP 11/29)

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