Court sides with Sherrill Supreme Court justices rule 8-1 Oneida Nation must pay tax to city Wed, Mar 30, 2005 R. PATRICK CORBETT Observer-Dispatch
The Oneida Indian Nation must pay taxes on its property in the city of Sherrill and potentially on all land it has bought outside of its 32-acre reservation in Madison County, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled that the New York Oneidas cannot disrupt two centuries of local development by refusing to pay local taxes on a gas station and T-shirt factory it owns in Sherrill in Oneida County. New York City lawyer Ira Sacks, who pleaded Sherrill's case pro bono, said, "We were very pleased. The Supreme Court agreed with the principal argument that after 200 years ... the Oneida Indian Nation can't pick and choose places to buy and take it out of local jurisdiction." The justices also remarked on the "distinctly non-Indian character of the area and its inhabitants," because most Oneida Indians moved out of the area about 150 years ago.