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Tribes not worried about Supreme Court ruling

Some tribal officials say the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in the Prairie Band Potawatomi tax case won't affect how they do business.

Mark Graham, the executive director of the Navajo Nation Tax Commission, said the tribe has a tax agreement with the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The deal brings in revenue for the tribe but also protects the states. A New Mexico official agreed the decision won't change anything.

Jackson T. King, the attorney for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut, said the decision was narrowly framed so it won't change The court ruled that the tax was imposed off the reservation on distributors, thus avoiding tribal sovereignty issues. But state attorney general Richard Blumenthal said the case could help the state in the future.

In Colorado, a lawyer for the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe said the decision could have an impact but it was too early to know. State Rep. Mark Larson, a Republican who has accused tribes of avoiding taxes, said the case could help the state.

Get the Story:
Supreme Court ruling favors taxing gas on Indian reservations (The Farmington Daily Times 12/9)
Blumenthal, Tribes Following National Tax Case (The New London Day 12/9)
High court approves fuel taxes on tribes (The Durango Herald 12/9)

Wagnon v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation:
Syllabus | Opinion [Thomas] | Dissent [Ginsburg]

Supreme Court Documents:
Day Call | Docket Sheet | Questions Presented

Court Briefs:
Richard v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (NCAI-NARF Supreme Court Project)

Lower Court Decision:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation v. Richards (10th Circuit August 2004)

Relevant Links:
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation -
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project -
Multistate Tax Commission -

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