House Speaker: Require Tribes to Charge Tax on Cigarettes


While the U.S. Constitution stipulates that Native American tribes be recognized as sovereign entities, Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney wants to require tribes to charge sales tax to any non-tribe member buying cigarettes.

Denney's measure was introduced today, the latest in a series of moves that could see Idaho sales tax on a pack of cigarettes jump from .57 to $1.25. The Idaho Council on Indian Affairs took up the issue this morning in a special meeting at the state Capitol. But tribes have asked for additional time to consider the proposal, asking for it to be tabled until March 7.

Advocates for a higher cigarette tax, including the Idaho Oral Health Alliance, are sponsoring a legislative summit Thursday at Boise's Grove Hotel. Among the speakers, Republican Rep. Dennis Lake, chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.