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NY appeals court won’t lift block on cigarette tax

Salamanca, New York (AP) December 2010
 
New York state remains barred for now from taxing cigarettes sold by Indian retailers to non-Indian customers.

A federal appeals court recently rejected the state’s request to lift the ban on collections while appeals on both sides of the issue are pending.

Cash-strapped New York says it needs the $4.35-per-pack tax from reservation sales, but Indian tribes see it as an attack on their sovereignty. The two sides have clashed for years over the issue.

Under appeal are rulings by federal judges in Buffalo and Utica. The Buffalo judge denied requests by the Seneca, Cayuga, St. Regis Mohawk and Unkechaug nations to block tax collections. But he froze his order pending appeal. The Utica judge granted a similar request by the Oneidas.



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