Arizona Appellate Court Decides Non-Indian Tax Case arising on Indian Lands

Here is the opinion in Arizona Dept. of Revenue v. South Point Energy Center LLC.

Here is the taxpayer’s position (which the court rejected):

In November 2001, South Point informed the Department of its legal position that based on the lease with the Tribe, the personal property at the facility “is not subject to Arizona’s property tax.” As to the Department’s request to visit the facility, South Point stated that the request “would have to be approved by the Tribe” and that “the Tribe does not want the Department of Revenue purporting to exercise its jurisdiction on the Tribe’s sovereign lands.”


2 thoughts on “Arizona Appellate Court Decides Non-Indian Tax Case arising on Indian Lands

  1. Red Eagle December 15, 2011 / 4:21 pm

    The argument is correct in law and is a jurisdiction issue regarding the state and state empowered entities such as ‘counties’. States have no jurisdiction on federal Indian lands including the right to taxation of anyone on that land including non-Indians. The right to tax these entities lies with the tribe and the state cannot tax where it does not provide service.
    As in Canada, section 125 of the Constitution provides for the non-taxation of of one government over another and this was approved by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Westbank First Nation v. British Columbia Hydro. British Columbia had property in BC Hydro (Share captal) and the BAnd could not tax it.

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