Seneca and Cayuga tribes get temporary freeze on tobacco tax
A federal judge temporarily blocked the state of New York from imposing its tobacco tax on the Seneca Nation and the Cayuga Nation but said the effort could go ahead on other reservations.

Judge Richard Arcara said the Seneca and Cayuga tribes can continue to sell tax-free cigarettes for another two weeks. A hearing will be scheduled on a permanent injunction against the state.

"Judge Arcara's ruling sets the stage for an orderly and thoughtful legal review of what we believe is an illegal, ill-conceived attempt by New York State to use the Seneca Nation, and other Indian Nations located within its boundaries, as piggy banks to balance the State Budget," Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr., said in a press release.

Starting today, wholesalers that provide tobacco to tribal retailers must must pay the $4.35-per-pack tax in advance. The tax is essentially passed onto the tribes.

Tribes can sell tax-free tobacco -- but only to their members -- and the limit will be determined by the state.

Get the Story:
Senecas gain cigarette tax reprieve (The Buffalo News 9/1)
Seneca, Cayuga Indian tribes won't be taxed on cigarettes for at least two weeks (The New York Daily News 9/1)
Tribes win cigarette tax delay (The Albany Times-Union 9/1)
Judge allows Seneca, Cayuga nations to sell tax-free cigarettes (The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 9/1)
Federal judge blocks implementation of cigarette tax for two western NY tribes (The Syracuse Post-Standard 9/1)
Schools Have Plan In Place In Case Of Road Closures (The Jamestown Post-Journal 9/1)
Tribal smoke break (AP 9/1)
New York Is Trying Again to Tax Indians’ Cigarette Sales (The New York Times 9/1)
On the reservation, resentment (The Buffalo News 9/1)
Collection of New York cigarette tax goes into effect Wednesday (The Syracuse Post-Standard 9/1)
State prepares to tax cigarettes on reservations (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 9/1)
Tensions Rise as Senecas Stop Casino Payments to NY State (WNED-AM 970 News 8/31)
Judge Clears New York State to Tax Cigarettes Sold on Indian Reservations (Bloomberg News 8/31)
Press Release: State Tax Dept. Implements Law Regulating Tax-Free Sales Of Cigarettes To Indian Reservation Cigarette Sellers (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance 8/31)

Relevant Documents:
ATF Letter on Tribal Consultation (May 19, 2010)

Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act:
H.R.1676 | S.1147

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