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Chippewa Cree Tribe pulls store license over tobacco tax

The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana has revoked the business license of a store owner who refused to pay a new tribal tobacco tax.

Debbie St. Pierre, owner of Village Grocery, was told to suspend her operation by today. But she says only the tribal court can put her out of business.

St. Pierre is challenging the tribe's new 55-cent tax on tobacco products. She says it is unfair and illegal and has refused to collect and remit it to the tribal government.

In response, the tribe seized her cigarettes after she refused to pay an estimated $5,500 in back taxes. St. Pierre tried to get the products back but lost a bid in tribal court.

Get the Story:
Tribe revokes store's license (The Havre Daily News 5/3)
Village Grocery takes fight to court (The Havre Daily News 5/2)

Related Stories:
Store owner plans to challenge tribe's tobacco tax (4/28)