Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s intention to enforce taxation on Native-sold cigarettes is on paper.
In the first state budget of his tenure, the governor accounted for $130 million in revenues from taxes on cigarettes sold by Native merchants.
“This is nothing new, and nothing has changed,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter in reaction to the state budget, which was released Tuesday. “We hope to have a chance to discuss these and other issues with the governor.”
Gov. Cuomo is the fifth state executive who will try to end tax-free cigarette sales by New York Indian tribes, an effort started nearly three decades ago by his father and former governor, Mario Cuomo.
Several spending plans of the last four governors have all included expected revenues from Native-sold cigarette taxation — a move the state executives believed would bridge budget shortfalls.
Including revenues from Native-sold cigarette taxation in the 2011-12 state budget isn’t Gov. Cuomo’s first indication of plans to collect the taxes.
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