Judge Lifts Tax Collection Ban For Cigarettes Sold On Indian Reservations

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has lifted a temporary order preventing New York state from following through with plans to tax cigarettes sold on Indian reservations to non-Indian customers.

Supreme Court Justice Donna Siwek rejected a challenge by the Seneca Indian Nation to the regulations adopted by the Tax Department to govern the collections. She lifted the temporary order that had been in place pending the decision Wednesday.

Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter says the western New York tribe will appeal.

The state plans to impose the $4.35-per-pack tax on Native American sales without going onto reservations by requiring cigarette wholesalers to pay the sales taxes before they supply reservation stores. Wholesalers would pass along the levy to tribal retailers, who would have to raise their prices.

What Do You Think About The Judge’s Decision?  Sound Off In The Comments Section Below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Robert Tall Trees MacLaren

    The Judge may be violating a treaty between the United States of America and the sovereign Seneca Indian Nation. Therefor, if that;s the case, a Federal Judge will decide that the NY Judge’s decision is unconstitutional. under the US Constitution as only the Federal government can deal with other sovereign nations, not a state government. That’s how I would read it if I were a federal District Judge.

  • Bob

    You realize the state is only taxing on-reservation sales to NON-tribal members. Native Americans don’t pay taxes on personal consumption. Further, the state does not tax cigarettes produced by the nations themselves.

    I think it’s completely fair and good for the state to shut down this illegal loophole. I shouldn’t be able to go to an Indian reservation and buy cigarettes and avoid the tax. It’s tax fraud, and it’s cheating every other tax payer in the state.

    If you think the tax is too high, quit smoking. If the state ends up contributing to pay for your healthcare costs when you get lung cancer, why not let the state recoup some of that money up front.

  • Linda

    Why doesn’t New York just get rid of all the corrupt politicians, that would more than cover the deficit.

  • Frank D

    Since they are too damn dumb to figure how to tax weed, they take it out on honest people.

    REALLY $4 a pack. Talk about greedy!!!!!

  • Harleyrider

    Nothing like making criminals out of honest people………….

    So was the way PROHIBITION WORKED!

    Trade In Black-Market Cigarettes: Hot, Dangerous

  • pughpah

    A law should be passed to make sure all butt taxes go in to a special fund and not to a general fund for all gov needs. These taxes are blood money, so they should be used to help those afflict5ed with the disease. smokersodyssey.com

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