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Yakama Nation sues Wash. over gas tax agreement

Published On: Dec 13 2012 02:57:30 PM CST
TOPPENISH, Wash. -

 The Yakama Nation is suing the state of Washington for abandoning an agreement that allowed tribal gas station owners to buy bulk fuel, largely free of state fuel taxes, for sale to tribal members.

Tribal members are exempt from state fuel taxes, but the state requires tribes to keep accounts of sales to nontribal members. The state terminated the agreement Dec. 5, saying the Yakama Nation was not abiding by its audit requirements.

Washington Department of Licensing spokesman Brad Benfield told the Yakima Herald-Republic for a story Thursday (http://bit.ly/XhMYKb ) that the state ended the agreement because mediation between the two sides failed after more than 180 days.

Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin says the state negotiated in bad faith.
   The tribe filed suit Dec. 6 in Yakama Tribal Court.

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