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Delaware chief opposes tobacco tax hike in Okla.


Joe Brooks is chief of the Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma. But he's also the owner of a smoke shop that he says will suffer under a proposed tax hike.

Gov. Brad Henry (D) wants to increase the excise tax from 23 cents to $1 a pack. He has signed compacts with some large tribes that requires them to share revenues based on the increased amount.

The compacts state that half of that money would be refunded to the tribes. But Brooks says the provision will not benefit individual Indians like him. "Its worded right in every compact that the tribes have already signed that no portion can be rebated back to an individual smoke shop owner, it'll go directly back to the tribe to be used for tribal services," he told KOTV News.

Brooks is also opposed to a bill in Congress that would allow states to collect taxes on the sale of cigarettes online. He has called it a "direct stab on Indian Country."

Get the Story:
Some Indian smoke shops are against a proposed Oklahoma tobacco tax hike (KOTV News 3/3)
The next battle: tobacco tax increase (The Native American Times 3/2)

Related Stories:
Okla. Senate approves tribal gaming bill (2/19)
Sac and Fox Treasurer: Okla. governor insults tribes (02/05)
House leader vows fight against tobacco tax bill (02/04)
Tobacco tax bill has broad group of supporters (2/2)
Tobacco tax bill still poses challenges for Indian Country (12/16)
Tribes left out of Internet and cigarette tax bills (11/19)