Washington Seeks To Overturn Tribe’s Fuel Tax Exemption

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state is asking the nation’s highest court to overturn a state Supreme Court decision that exempted the Yakama Nation from paying state taxes on out-of-state fuel delivered to the reservation.

The Yakima Herald says the petition by the state’s Department of Licensing names the Cougar Den, a gas station on the reservation owned by a tribal member.

In March, Washington’s Supreme Court said the Yakama Nation’s 1855 treaty with the federal government exempts it from state taxes for commercial activities off the reservation.

The tribe is a sovereign government and is exempted from state sales, cigarette and gas taxes on the reservation.

The state argues that the other federal rulings involving the Yakamas and cigarette taxes on interstate sales aren’t consistent with the state Supreme Court ruling.

An attorney representing the Cougar Den called the state’s petition disappointing and said they will oppose it.

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