Florida court tells Seminole Tribe to pay state gasoline taxes

The Seminole Tribe must pay taxes for gasoline that it purchases off the reservation, the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday.

The tribe filed a lawsuit against the Department of Revenue to seek a refund for sales and excise taxes paid between January 2004 and February 2006. The tribe purchased the fuel off the reservation but used it for governmental purposes on the reservation.

A trial judge sided with the tribe but the department appealed. In a unanimous ruling, the 4th District Court reversed and said the tribe can't use its sovereignty as a shield from state taxation.

"Off-reservation transactions, even by tribal members, are susceptible of [state] taxation without running afoul of the Indian Commerce Clause," the court wrote.

Get the Story:
Seminole Tribe must pay fuel taxes, court rules (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 6/23)

Florida Court of Appeal Decision:
Florida Department of Revenue v. Seminole Tribe (June 22, 2011)

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