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Supreme Court upholds Kansas tax on Indian fuel sales

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday held that Kansas did not unconstitutionally impose a tax on distributors of fuel that was sold on an Indian reservation. In Wagnon v. Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation [Duke Law backgrounder], the Court considered whether Kansas' motor fuel tax applies to fuel delivered by off-reservation non-Indian distributors to a gas station owned by and located on the reservation of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, a federally-recognized Indian tribe. The Nation built the gas station to accommodate the growth of traffic that resulted from its new casino and imposed its own tax on the gas revenues to fund maintenance of the reservation's roads. Kansas had sought to impose its own state fuel tax on the revenues of the gas station. Read the Court's 7-2 opinion [PDF text], per Justice Thomas, along with Justice Ginsburg's dissent [PDF text]. AP has more.

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