President Porter On State Tobacco Tax

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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President Porter On State Tobacco Tax

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM EDT

ALLEGANY TERRITORY, Salamanca, NY July, 15 2011 *(release) – Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter released Friday the following statement, after comments by top state officials in Albany on state tobacco rules:

“As always, our status as a sovereign nation prevents, by federal treaty, enforcement of state taxes on our territorial commerce. We will never take any action to collect state taxes or allow the state to do so on our territory. That is not something that’s open for discussion.”

“As far as trying to tax tobacco brands manufactured on Nation territory, they are already subject to federal regulation, as well as our own Nation rules. These businesses have the same rights to make and sell cigarettes as anyone else in the United States. Secondly, courts have never addressed the state’s authority to tax federally regulated native brands. Nothing in current court decisions grants the state taxing authority over these products.”

“Finally, the Seneca Nation wants to reiterate that tobacco taxes are not an ‘Indian problem.’ The problem is created by New York’s excessive taxing of tobacco products and its open borders.”

“The Nation always stands ready to discuss with the state any efforts to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of New Yorkers.”