The Tax Court and U.S. District Court were considering the same basic issue for different years for the same taxpayers. The courts came to opposite conclusions in the issue. The United States District Court for the Western District of New York ruled in 2017 that the taxpayers in Perkins v. United States, No. 1:16-cv-00495, plausibly stated a claim for exemption from taxation for the 2010 sale of gravel based on two treaties between the United States and the Seneca Nation. But in a case looking at the same two cases, the Tax Court decided in the case of Perkins v. Commissioner, 150 T.C. No. 6 that no exemption was available to the taxpayers under those treaties for sales of gravel in other years.
Alice Perkins is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation and had received permission from the Seneca Nation to remove and sell gravel from lands held by Nation. She and her husband lived on Seneca property. For the years in question they sold gravel which they had mined from Seneca lands.
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