New York tribes vow to fight attempt to collect tobacco taxes
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The New York Legislature passed a bill that requires tribes to collect the state's tobacco tax on their reservations. The bill also raises the state tax by $1.60 to $4.35 a pack.
The plan will go into effect on September 1. Tribal leaders said they would fight any attempt to infringe on their sovereignty.
"This is nothing less than a deliberate effort to sabotage our federal treaty rights and rape our economy to bail out New York State," Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder Sr. said in a statement, The Buffalo News reported.
The state has tried to impose tobacco taxes on reservations in the past. In 1997, protests by tribal members led to a shutdown of the New York Thruway.
Gov. David Paterson (D) led the latest effort even as he said he wants to negotiate with tribes. A provision of the bill apparently authorizes his office to settle current and future lawsuits without legislative approval, the Buffalo paper reported.
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Article taken from www.indianz.com