OKMULGEE, Oklahoma –
A civil lawsuit has been filed against the Oklahoma Tax Commission in federal court challenging the states collection of taxes from Native Americans in Indian Country.
The suit was filed on Feb.18 in the Eastern District of Oklahoma by Harold and Nellie Meashintubby, enrolled members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who reside and earn income from within the Choctaw Reservation.
It claims that the State of Oklahoma lacks jurisdiction to assess, levy and collect taxes on the Tribal members.
The filing asserts that since the McGirt decision ruled that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation lands were never disestablished through Congress and that those lands are also to be considered “Indian Country” for the purposes of the Major Crimes Act, and the same conclusion could be made about the Choctaw Reservation established by various treaties between the United States that the Choctaw Nation.
The suit also claims that no act of Congress has provided for state taxation authority against tribal members income in the reservation.
In addition, the filing also details several actions taken by the State of Oklahoma post McGirt that the suit claims illustrate Oklahoma’s affirmation that decision applies to civil jurisdiction, such as Gov. Stitt invoking an EPA civil regulatory provision applicable to Indian Country, and an intergovernmental agreement between Oklahoma agencies and the Choctaw Nation regarding jurisdiction over Indian children.
Mvskoke Media will have ongoing coverage on this developing story.