Hundreds rally to oppose New York tobacco tax

More than 500 people joined the Seneca Nation at a rally in Buffalo to protest New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) and his efforts to impose a tobacco tax on reservations.

Chanting “Treaty Now! Sovereignty Now!" and carrying signs comparing the taxation effort to genocide and the Holocaust, tribal members and supporters marched downtown. They called the state's tax a violation of treaty rights and the U.S. Constitution.

“We feel the governor has gone back on his word,” said President Maurice A. John, The Buffalo News reported. “And now, I can’t even get him to meet with me. . . . We are not going to be tax collectors for New York State.”

State law authorizes the collection of taxes on the sale of good to non-Indians. The law has not been enforced in response to opposition from tribes, particularly the Seneca Nation.

Spitzer took office in January and said he would collect the tax. Former governor George Pataki (R) refused to enforce the law, citing sovereignty concerns.

Get the Story:
Senecas blast Spitzer over cigarette tax collection (The Buffalo News 3/14)
Senecas Protest Spitzer Plan to Tax Smokes (WIVB 3/14)
Senecas rally against tax collections (The Buffalo Business Journal 3/13)
Senecas rally against Spitzer (The Niagara Gazette 3/13)
Hundreds attend Seneca rally opposing cigarette taxes (The Buffalo News 3/13)

Seneca Nation -
Honor Indian Treaties -

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