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State sues Yakamas over fuel tax dispute

Sat., Dec. 29, 2012

YAKIMA – Washington state has filed suit in federal court against the Yakama Nation over a disagreement about state fuel taxes.

The lawsuit marks the latest move in a string of back-and-forth court filings and disagreements over whether tribal gas station owners may continue to buy bulk fuel largely free of state fuel taxes.

Tribal members are exempt from the tax. The state and the tribe have operated under an agreement that tribal gas station owners would only be required to pay taxes on 25 percent of the total amount of bulk fuel they purchase, to reimburse the state for fuel purchases by non-Indians at tribal stations.

However, the state terminated the agreement Dec. 5, saying the Yakama Nation was not abiding by its audit requirements. The Yakama Nation filed suit the following day in Yakama Tribal Court.

In response, the state filed suit in U.S. District Court in Yakima on Dec. 17, seeking to have a federal judge force the tribe to pay about $19.4 million in unpaid fuel taxes and to uphold the state’s termination of the agreement, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported Friday.

The state fuel tax is 37.5 cents per gallon.

U.K. publisher buying stake in Nook e-reader

LONDON – Pearson, the U.K. publisher and education company, is to take a 5 percent stake in Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader as technology companies seek new inroads into the potentially lucrative business of digital textbooks for schools.

Pearson PLC will pay $89.5 million cash for a 5 percent stake in Nook Media LLC, which includes the bookseller’s e-reader and tablets, its digital bookstore and its 674 stores serving U.S. colleges. Barnes & Noble will hold 78.2 percent of the business and Microsoft will have about 16.8 percent, the company said Friday.

Major tech companies have looked for inroads into the industry, seeing tablets like the iPad and the Nook as replacements for the dozens of books that students must lug to and from school each day.

FDA approves anticlotting drug

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it approved an anticlotting drug called Eliquis, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Pfizer Inc. It’s a potential blockbuster in a new category of medicines to prevent strokes.

The agency previously rejected the drug twice, most recently in June, awaiting additional data from company trials.

The FDA cleared the pill for treating the most common type of irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, in patients at risk for strokes or dangerous clots.

Netflix CEO getting raise after 2012 pay cut

LOS ANGELES – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ pay will double to $4 million next year, after he took a pay cut due to management missteps this year.

Hastings’ annual salary will rise to $2 million in 2013 and he will get $2 million in stock options, according to a securities filing Friday.

That’s up from a salary of $500,000 and $1.5 million in stock options for 2012.

Hastings’ total pay for 2012 was down 43 percent from $3.5 million in 2011, when some controversial decisions, including a steep price hike on subscriptions, sent the stock spiraling. It fell from a high above $300 to a low below $70 per share.

This year, shares are up 29 percent, closing Friday at $89.33.


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