IRVING, NY (WKBW) -- The State Supreme Court in Erie County granted the Seneca Nation of Indians request and issued a three week temporary order preventing New York State from collecting taxes on Indian sold cigarettes. The order should be in place until the case can be heard on a State Administrative Procedure Act.
This comes after the Senecas appeal against the state's effort to collect the cigarettes tax, was denied on Monday. "We're not going to pay tax, we're not going to accept New York's ruling, they have no authority here," J.C. Seneca, with the Seneca Nation Tribal Council, said.
State officials already began planning to collect taxes on cigarette sales Monday night, ordering all packs of cigarettes sold by wholesale dealers to Indian Nations to have cigarette tax stamps on them. But the Senecas say they'll continue to fight this in court and will even rely on their own native cigarette brands manufactured on the reservation, and won't purchase name-brand cigarette packs that are taxed. "New York State stamps on cigarettes...will not be allowed to be here at all," Seneca said.
As for the wholesale dealers who normally sell name-brand cigarettes to the Senecas, say their profits will be greatly cut. But the Senecas say it's what they may have to do. "That's our road to success is being in control of our own destiny, manufacturing our own products and selling them here," Seneca said. "We're in control of our own territory, we're self governed people and the state has no right or authority to anything that goes on here."
Phone calls from Channel 7 to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on Tuesday were not returned.