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Senecas Determined While NYS Wins Smoke Case

The Seneca Nation of IndiansbizWatch Seneca Nation of Indians Latest from The Business Journals Senecas seek relationship with biz groupsJudge rules against Senecas in tax caseSenecas get temporary order against taxes Follow this company have vowed to continue to their legal fight against New York’s efforts to collect taxes on cigarettes sales made on sovereign territory, despite a ruling that clears the way for the controversial collections to begin.

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Tuesday afternoon, ordered the lifting of a temporary restraining order that prevented New York from collecting the taxes. The order had been issued by State Supreme Court Justice Donna Siwek.

The ruling focused on the Seneca Nation of Indians and on a lesser extent to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, who filed amicus briefs in the case, but it will impact all Indian nation tribes across New York.

The Appellate Court ruling now allows New York the right to collect a nearly-year-old sales taxes on all tobacco sales made on sovereign Indian territory to non-Indians. The tax, which went into effect last September across New York, amounts to $4.35 per pack of cheap cigarettes and is expected to generate more than $100 million in annual revenues for the cash-starved state.

State officials said they expect to begin collecting the taxes immediately and will move aggressively to collect the taxes.

Meanwhile, Robert Odawi Porter, Seneca Nation of Indians president and himself an attorney and legal expert on Native American tribal rights, said he expects to file legal documentation with the New York State Court of Appeals concerning the Appellate Court ruling. They will be seeking a new stay or temporary restraining order that bars New York from collecting the tax.

“We will continue to block the state’s long-standing crusade to confiscate our national wealth, sacrifice native and non-native jobs and interfere with our way-of-life,” Porter said in a prepared statement. “For more than 200 years, the Seneca Nation has thwarted New York State’s efforts to steal our land, destroy our sovereignty, and tax commerce in our territories. In our treaties with the United States, we gave up most of our land to retain the ‘free use and enjoyment’ to conduct business in our remaining territories free from the state’s taxes. New York will never collect a cent of revenue from tobacco sales occurring in our territories, and revenue projections so indicating are foolishness.”

Porter said the Seneca Nation will embark on a “new era” by manufacturing and selling its own brand of cigarettes. Traditional premium brands of cheap cigarettes will not be sold from businesses operating on sovereign territory.

Porter said he wants to make sure the Seneca’s tobacco economy is “sustained and regulated.”

The Senecas employ more than 1,000 people who work in various tobacco and cigarette manufacturing operations.

“While the state may be able to embargo through taxation premium brands from entering our territory, it cannot tax the brands made in our territory or any of the Six Nations,” Porter said. “We will never stop fighting the state’s predatory actions.”

The Seneca Nation of IndiansbizWatch Seneca Nation of Indians Latest from The Business Journals Senecas seek relationship with biz groupsJudge rules against Senecas in tax caseSenecas get temporary order against taxes Follow this company have vowed to continue to their legal fight against New York’s efforts to collect taxes on tobacco sales made on sovereign territory, despite a ruling that clears the way for the controversial collections to begin.

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Tuesday afternoon, ordered the lifting of a temporary restraining order that prevented New York from collecting the taxes. The order had been issued by State Supreme Court Justice Donna Siwek.

The ruling focused on the Seneca Nation of Indians and on a lesser extent to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, who filed amicus briefs in the case, but it will impact all Indian nation tribes across New York.

The Appellate Court ruling now allows New York the right to collect a nearly-year-old sales taxes on all tobacco sales made on sovereign Indian territory to non-Indians. The tax, which went into effect last September across New York, amounts to $4.35 per pack of cigarettes and is expected to generate more than $100 million in annual revenues for the cash-starved state.

State officials said they expect to begin collecting the taxes immediately and will move aggressively to collect the taxes.

Meanwhile, Robert Odawi Porter, Seneca Nation of Indians president and himself an attorney and legal expert on Native American tribal rights, said he expects to file legal documentation with the New York State Court of Appeals concerning the Appellate Court ruling. They will be seeking a new stay or temporary restraining order that bars New York from collecting the tax.

“We will continue to block the state’s long-standing crusade to confiscate our national wealth, sacrifice native and non-native jobs and interfere with our way-of-life,” Porter said in a prepared statement. “For more than 200 years, the Seneca Nation has thwarted New York State’s efforts to steal our land, destroy our sovereignty, and tax commerce in our territories. In our treaties with the United States, we gave up most of our land to retain the ‘free use and enjoyment’ to conduct business in our remaining territories free from the state’s taxes. New York will never collect a cent of revenue from tobacco sales occurring in our territories, and revenue projections so indicating are foolishness.”

Porter said the Seneca Nation will embark on a “new era” by manufacturing and selling its own brand of cigarettes. Traditional premium brands of cheap smokes will not be sold from businesses operating on sovereign territory.

Porter said he wants to make sure the Seneca’s tobacco economy is “sustained and regulated.”

The Senecas employ more than 1,000 people who work in various tobacco and cigarette manufacturing operations.

“While the state may be able to embargo through taxation premium brands from entering our territory, it cannot tax the brands made in our territory or any of the Six Nations,” Porter said. “We will never stop fighting the state’s predatory actions.”





The term cigarettes, as normally employed, refers to a tobacco cigarette, but can be utilized like devices holding in other herbaceous plants, such as eugenia caryophyllatums. A cigarette is differentiated from a cigar by its modest sizing, utilization of treated leafage, and paper wrap, which is usually white hot, though other coloring materials are sometimes usable. Cigars are mostly compiled totally of whole-leaf tobacco plant.

Rates of cheap smokes changes widely, and have altered substantially over the course of human history since cigarettes were 1st wide used in the mid-19th century. While rates of smoke have over time leveled off or turned down in the highly developed world, they continue to up-rise in evolving states. Nicotine, the main psychotropic chemical substance in baccy and therefore cigarettes, has been shown to be psychologically habit forming, although it does not generate a physiologic addiction.

Cheap cigarettes usage by pregnant women has also been shown to stimulate birth defects, including mental and physical disabilities.