(From an online article)
Its an issue that ignited heated protests in the past, taxing cigarettes sold by Native Americans.
The Seneca Nation vows to fight the law signed Monday by Governor David Paterson.
Larry Johnston drove from Grand Island to pick up ten cartons of cigarettes on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County.
Johnston said, "I'm here today to stock up, you know, more than I can really afford today just in case to see what happens with this issue."
What happened is Governor David Paterson signed into law a bill that intends to enforce collection of excise taxes on cigarettes sold at Indian-owned stores.
The new law will prohibit manufacturers from selling tobacco products without a state tax stamp to any wholesaler that doesn't certify the cigarettes won't be resold tax-free by New York's tribes.
It's not going over well at Native American stores like Jay's Place in Niagara County.
Jay's Place cashier Lisa said, "This issue for us is about New York State breaking federal treaties, and it's not within their jurisdiction to do that."
Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder said Monday, "This action is a threat to the Seneca Nation and we have no choice but to explore all of our options. The issue here is not cigarettes, Snyder adds, but the protection of the nation's treaty rights.
We'll do whatever it takes at the right time to protect those rights."
Tony Irizak said, "I think it's good for us, for the stores."
At the Quick Check convenience store in Kenmore, Manager Tony Irizak sees it as good news.
Irizak said, "This way it'll be fair between us and the Indians. We get the same, everybody will pay taxes."
The last time the state tried to collect the tobacco taxes, Seneca protestors used burning tires to shut down a section of the State Thruway, which runs through tribal territory.
The next step will be for the State Tax Department to establish a certification process for wholesalers within 60 ! days.
Supporters of the new law believe the tax would bring the state more than 62 million dollars a year