Business | Law | Politics

Kansas Legislature approves tobacco compacts with two tribes






The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation sells tobacco, gasoline and other products at the Prairie Band One Stop in Holton, Kansas. Photo from Facebook

The Kansas Legislature moved quickly to approve tobacco compacts with the Iowa Tribe and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.

The compacts were announced earlier this month. Officials said they were needed to ensure that the state complies with a multi-state tobacco settlement.

That settlement did not include Indian Country. But Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said the state wanted to respect the sovereign rights of both tribes by entering into compacts.

“As a result of this action, we will significantly improve cooperation between the tribes and the state to prevent the illicit shipment of untaxed and unaccounted-for cigarettes in Kansas, strengthening our ability to comply with the terms of the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement," Schmidt said in a press release.

Both compacts acknowledge that the state cannot tax tobacco products sold to tribal members. But they also recognize that the state can impose taxes on sale to non-Indians.

The tribes and the state agreed to limited waivers of sovereign immunity for purposes of enforcing the compacts.

A copy of the compact with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation can be viewed at 1.usa.gov/1LTkGzr. A copy of the compact with the Iowa Tribe is available at 1.usa.gov/1QqF4gB.

Schmidt said he is working to negotiate compacts with the Kickapoo Tribe and the Sac and Fox Nation.

Get the Story:
Legislature approves tribal compacts to better enforce tobacco sales (WIBW 3/23)