Jenner & Block

NCAI and South Dakota Tribes File Amicus Brief on Tribal Tax Authority for Online Sales

On behalf of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Indian tribes in South Dakota, Jenner & Block filed an amicus brief before the US Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a case that could greatly affect tax policy in Indian country in South Dakota and nationwide by safeguarding tribes’ taxing power and immunity from state sales taxes. “Tribal governments impose sales taxes just like state and local governments do and commonly enter tax agreements with neighboring jurisdictions,” said Partner Sam Hirsch, co-leader of the firm’s Indian law work. “At the heart of this case is the Commerce Clause, which expressly protects not only states, but also Indian tribes.  The Supreme Court should do the same.”

In addition to Mr. Hirsch, Partners Geoffrey M. Davis, co-chair of the firm's Tax Practice, and Ian Heath Gershengorn, chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, and Associate Leonard R. Powell, a member and former elected official of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, are representing the NCAI.

Oral argument in the case is set for April 17, 2018.  To learn more about the matter, click here.