Yakama gas tax dispute now in federal court

 A dispute between the state of Washington and the Yakama Nation over the fuel tax is headed for federal court.

A federal judge last week tossed out a Yakama Tribal court ruling in favor of the tribe and set a Jan. 31 for a judge to decide whether the state can scrap an agreement.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that without the agreement tribal gas station owners would have to pay the full state tax.

The state says the tribe violated the agreement by failing to submit audits for five years and owes nearly $20 million in fuel taxes.

The agreement required tribal station owners to pay the state tax on a quarter of the bulk fuel purchased and to submit audits for additional taxes.