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Oklahoma Wins Arbitration Opinion on Tribal Tobacco Sales

SHAWNEE, Okla. – An arbitration panel handling disputes between the state of Oklahoma and two native American tribes over tobacco compacts issued rulings favorable to the state, the Shawnee News-Star reported.

Two unanimous rulings placed the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes on non-compact status for retail tobacco sales, stated Steve Mullins, general counsel for Gov. Mary Fallin. Without a compact agreement, the tribes will be issued black stamps, which allow a limited number of tobacco products to be sold tax-free to tribal citizens only. The tribes must pay the full tax rate for all other tobacco sales.

"I am still committed to negotiating in good faith with both tribes on terms for new tobacco compacts," said Fallin. "I look forward to the opportunity to engage in these discussions."

The governor's office has negotiated new tobacco compacts with 25 of Oklahoma's 38 federally recognized tribes, according to the report.

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