Yakama gas tax exemption heading to U.S. Supreme Court
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The nation’s highest court has decided to consider whether Yakama tribal members are exempt from state gas taxes on the reservation.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported Thursday the case stems a state Department of Licensing lawsuit in 2013 against a gas station and convenience store called the Cougar Den.
The state alleged the store, owned by tribal member Kip Ramsey in White Swan, brought out-of-state fuel onto the reservation without paying the state’s fuel tax.
Yakima County Superior Court and the state Supreme Court ruled the Yakama Treaty of 1855 exempted tribal-owned gas stations on the reservation from the tax.
The licensing department appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As members of a sovereign nation, Yakama tribal members are exempt from state gas, tobacco and sales tax on the reservation. But state authorities complain that too often non-tribal members go to the reservation to buy goods and escape state taxes.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.