"Bargain-priced butts, cheap gas and gambling casinos get all the attention, but life on an Indian reservation includes other lifestyle elements that are as foreign as the Wild West to most New Yorkers.
Step onto an Indian reservation and you're leaving the United States and entering a sovereign nation that includes free health care, a tribal justice system with its own courts, jails and police -- and even separate license plates and passports.
The state's knockdown, drag-out fight with Indians over untaxed cigarettes has thrust the debate over their sovereignty -- based on decades-old treaties between the federal government and the tribes -- back into the headlines.
The reservations operate as nations within a nation, with tribes dealing directly with the feds on a government-to-government relationship.
Indians who live and work on one of the country's 300-plus federally recognized reservations are exempt from paying state income taxes, but usually they are required to pay all federal taxes.
However, if a citizen of one of the 564 federally recognized tribes works off of the reservation, they are required to pay state taxes, no matter where they live.
Those who live on any reservation don't have to pay state property taxes, but they might have to fork over some kind of tribal fees."
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Indian reservations a land of the freebie
(The New York Post 9/27)