Bloomberg Tax
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Login
BROWSE
Bloomberg Tax
Welcome
Login
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Tribal Treaty Rights Trump State Tax on Fuel, High Court Rules

March 19, 2019, 8:32 PM

A tribal-owned business in Washington won’t have to pay a more than $3 million tax bill after the U.S. Supreme Court said the tax was preempted by an 1855 treaty.

Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the court’s more liberal justices in a 5-4 decision finding that Washington’s fuel tax couldn’t be applied to Cougar Den Inc., a business owned by a member of the Yakama Nation that imports fuel from Oregon.

The five-justice majority, however, split to create a 3-2 plurality for the court. The five justices in the majority disagreed over which specific provision in the 1855 treaty preempted ...