Appeals Court Rules Tribe's Lawsuit Can Proceed

Friday, December 28th 2007, 11:04 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A Denver-based federal appeals court has ruled a lawsuit can proceed in which the Osage Nation is arguing tribal members who live in Osage County are exempt from state income taxes. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the case can proceed against individual members of the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

The original case was filed in 2001 in federal court in Tulsa.

Under current law, tribal members who work for the tribe and live on tribal land are exempt from state taxes. The Osage Nation is arguing that the Osage Reservation was never formally disestablished by Congress and that the entire county is Indian country.

The state contends that only land held in trust is Indian land.