Federal Court Holds Feds Cannot Tax Proceeds Derived Directly from Indian Lands

Here are the materials in Perkins v. United States (W.D.N.Y.):

An excerpt:

This case presents what appears to be an issue of first impression: whether a treaty between the United States and Native Americans ensuring the free use and enjoyment of tribal land bars taxes on income derived directly from the land—here, the sale of gravel mined on the land. Although at least two circuit courts have suggested in dicta that “income derived directly from the land” might be exempt from taxation under such treaties, they did so to distinguish that scenario from cases where an exemption was sought for income earned in ways that do not relate to the land itself. See Lazore v. Comm’r, 11 F.3d 1180 (3d Cir. 1993); Hoptowit v. Comm’r, 709 F.2d 564 (9th Cir. 1983). This case presents the very issue about which those courts speculated. And for the reasons that follow, this Court agrees with their speculation and finds that the plaintiffs have plausibly stated a claim for relief under two treaties with the Native American Seneca Nation.

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