Seminole Petition Supreme Court to Hear Utility Tax Case

March 14, 2016

The Seminole Tribe is petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the case — Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Stranburg 15-1064. At issue in the case is whether a state-imposed utility tax itemized on the tribe’s bill is an impermissible direct tax on the tribe.

Florida imposes a tax on gross receipts from utility services that are delivered to retail customers. Under express statutory authority, utility providers may separately itemize this utility tax on a customer’s bill and add it to the total charge for utility services. If the utility provider does so, the customer is legally required to remit the tax to the utility provider, which then transfers the payment to the State. The Seminole Tribe has purchased utility services delivered to tribal reservations and the providers separately itemize the utility tax when billing the Tribe for such services. The tribe argues that this is an impermissible direct tax on the tribe.

You can read the entire petition here.


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