Governor Burns Senecas
We'll let this one stand as it is. The following is a press release issued from the Seneca Nation of indians in response to Governor David Paterson's signing of a bill that will allow the state to collect tax on the sale of Indian cigarettes to non-Indians. The state stands to collect nearly $60 million per year on an excise tax that is $2.75/pack.
The Seneca statement:
Seneca Nation Will Act Against Recent State Attack
President Snyder says law ignores treaties
The Seneca Nation of Indians will explore all of its options after Governor David A. Paterson today signed into state law a bill that threatens the Nation’s treaty rights and 1,000 retailing jobs in Western New York.
“This action is a threat to the Seneca Nation and we have no choice but to explore all of our options,” said Barry E. Snyder, Sr., Seneca Nation President. “Attacking tax-free commerce in our territories is short-sighted and disastrous for us and all of Western New York.”
“The Nation has a complicated and intertwined relationship with the State. Since this is the direction that the Governor wants to take things, then we have no choice but revisit every aspect of our relationship with the State.”
“This bill does not go into effect for 60 days. The Seneca people and our patrons should know that the Council and I are working diligently right now on our action plan. The issue here is not cigarettes, but the protection of the Nation’s treaty rights. We will do what it takes at the right time to protect those rights.” “Because our Nation believes that diplomacy is always the best path when governments are in dispute, I have invited Governor Paterson to our historic territory to discuss how this problem can be resolved in a matter respectful of our treaties,” said President Snyder.