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8:12 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Panel Sides with State in Tobacco Dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A three-member arbitration panel has ruled in favor of the Governor's Office in a dispute with two Oklahoma-based tribes over the state's tobacco compact.

Attorney Steve Mullins for Governor Mary Fallin says the unanimous rulings against the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe and the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes put the tribes on non-compact status for retail tobacco sales.

Without a compact in place, both tribes will only be able to sell a limited number of tax-free tobacco products to tribal citizens. All others must be paid at the full tax rate.

Fallin said in a statement that she is still committed to negotiating in good faith with both tribes.

A message left with the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe was not immediately returned. The Wichita and Affiliated Tribes declined immediate comment.