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Taxation in Indian Country after Carcieri v. Salazar

25 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2009  

Scott A. Taylor

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2009


Federally recognized Indian tribes are governments within our federal legal system. Tribes have aboriginal sovereignty that provides them with inherent governmental powers, such as the power to tax. Tribal sovereignty also protects tribes from state interference, such as state taxation of tribal lands. Both the exercise of tribal governmental powers and the tribal immunity from state interference have a territorial component. This makes the status of Indian lands a critical inquiry into tribal/state relations. Because of the importance of land status in federal Indian law, especially in matters involving taxation, the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Carcieri v. Salazar deserves special attention. In the Carcieri case, the Court held that the Secretary of the Interior did not have the statutory authority to place lands into trust on behalf of Indian tribes that were recognized after the enactment of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. This article explores taxation in Indian Country after Carcieri.

Keywords: Indian law, Indian taxation, tribal taxation, tribal sovereignty, aboriginal sovereignty, Indian land, Indian country

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Scott A., Taxation in Indian Country after Carcieri v. Salazar (2009). William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 36, 2010; U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-26. Available at SSRN:

Scott Taylor (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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