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Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

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A woman who was a member of the Menominee tribe but worked for the Oneida tribe must pay state income taxes despite her status as an Indian, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Feb. 13. The court said a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision only exempts Indians from state income taxes if they reside and work on their own tribe's land. Joan LaRock must pay income taxes because she worked and lived with a tribe other than the one to which she belonged, despite her argument that she was "an Indian" living in "Indian country," the court ruled. The court ruled that none of the treaties named by LaRock involving the Oneida and Menominee tribes mention taxation or imply that a nonmember is exempt from state taxes while on another reservation. "While it is undisputed that (LaRock) is an American Indian, her ethnicity does not confer upon her any more rights or privileges within the Oneida Tribe than a non-Indian has within the Oneida Tribe," Justice Jon Wilcox wrote for the court.