New York tribes vow fight over tobacco tax bill

New York tribes said they will continue to fight efforts to impose tobacco taxes on their reservations.

The Seneca Nation, the Oneida Nation and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe said a bill signed by Gov. David Paterson (D) on Monday infringes on their sovereignty and treaty rights. They said taxation would hurt the economy, lead to job cuts and end in costly litigation.

"The only thing assured by the bill being signed into law today is ongoing litigation," the Oneida Nation said in a statement. "None of the State's other efforts to infringe on sovereignty have worked, and there is no reason to believe this will work either. If the State is serious about resolving this issue, it will negotiate with Indian nations rather than constantly attacking them."

The bill requires tobacco wholesalers to ensure they sell cigarettes with state tax stamps. The state believes that would lead the tribes to pass on the tax to consumers but implementation remains a murky issue.

Get the Story:
Snyder says Paterson admitted cigarette tax law is flawed (The Buffalo News 12/16)
Bill would ban tax-free cigarette sales on reservations (Newsday 12/16)
Tax Issue Still Smolders (The Syracuse Post-Standard 12/16)
St. Regis Mohawk Reservation: Tax Means Lost Jobs (WCAX 12/16)
Gov. Paterson signs bill to collect taxes from Indians (AP 12/16)
Indian nations vow to fight law (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 12/16)
Cigarette retailers welcome tax change (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 12/16)

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Editorial: Indian smokeshops and organized crime (10/27)
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