Appeals court sides with Cayuga Nation in tobacco tax case
The New York Court of Appeals sided with the Cayuga Nation in a tobacco tax case.

The court said the tribe can continue to sell tobacco at two smoke shops. The facilities are located on "qualified reservation" property -- as that term is defined by state law -- even though the properties are the subject of a pending land-into-trust application.

"But based on existing precedent and federal consideration of the fee-for-trust application, the United States government continues to recognize the existence of a Cayuga reservation in New York," the court said in a 4-3 decision.

The court said the tribe cannot sell tobacco to non-Indians without collecting a state tax. However, the state has yet to implement regulations that would facilitate the process so the court said it would be "unduly burdensome' to force the tribe to pay the taxes at this time.

The appeals court is the highest court in the state.

Get the Story:
Court nixes cigarette tax case against Cayuga Indian Nation (AP 5/11)

New York Court of Appeals Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Gould (May 11, 2010)

New York Appellate Division Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Gould (July 10, 2009)

New York Supreme Court Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Gould (December 9, 2008)

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