Federal Judge Rules Against Osage Nation

Sunday, January 25th 2009, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

Associated Press

TULSA, OK -- A federal judge rules against the Osage Nation in a lawsuit seeking to exempt tribal members who live and work in Osage County from state income taxes.

Federal Judge James Payne says exempting the members would have significant practical consequences for income taxation and potentially for civil, criminal and regulatory jurisdiction in the County.

Attorneys for the Osage Nation would not comment Friday on the opinion.

The lawsuit was filed in 2001 in federal court and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2007 that the case could proceed against individual members of the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

The Pawhuska-based tribe argued that the Osage Reservation was never formally disestablished by Congress and that all of Osage County should be considered Indian Country.

But Payne noted in his order that the county is predominantly non-Indian and non-Osage.