Skip to comments.Indian tribe protests cigarette taxes
Posted on 09/16/2010 10:48:19 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
TUSCARORA INDIAN NATION, N.Y., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- An American Indian tribe told motorists it may collect tolls from cars to protest a court decision giving New York the right to tax the tribe's cigarette sales.
"It's not just about taxes," a member of the Tuscarora tribe told The Buffalo (N.Y.) News. "This is about our freedom and our human rights. We're supposed to be a sovereign nation, and yet the state keeps trying to tax us."
Several dozen members of the Iroquoian-language-family tribe carrying signs and flags stopped passing cars on a two-lane state highway and handed fliers to the drivers informing them of the possible toll each time they crossed the reservation line.
"Coming Soon: Tuscarora Toll. $1 per vehicle. Located on Route 31 and Route 104," the fliers said.
The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, lifted a temporary restraining order Tuesday that had blocked the state from enforcing new tax regulations that let New York collect cigarette taxes from non-Indian customers.
Indians living on the Tuscarora reservation would be exempt from the tax.
"Once they tax cigarettes, what will they want next?" asked Adrian Bigfoot, who said he held no office in the Tuscarora Indian Nation government, but said the government is a participatory democracy in which all Tuscaroras have a voice.
New York is "trying to break our treaties," he said.
The state Department of Taxation and Finance, responsible for collecting and enforcing state tax laws and dispersing tax revenues, had no immediate comment.
The court ruling does not apply to New York's Seneca and Cayuga nations, which remain exempt from the tax until at least Sept. 28 due to a separate restraining order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara, radio station WBEN-AM, Buffalo, reported.
The gay, man-child STARTED his “administration” by breaking contracts! (GM)
He won’t honor treaties of any kind. He HAS no honor.
(GAWD! I love that he’s pissing off EVERYONE!!!!)
Nanny State PING!
I am backing the Native Americans - where are all the lefties who love the Native Americans
They should do what the tribes in NM did when the Feds got too heavy handed with them. Shut the state highway down at their border. “Go around, white eyes!”
Treaty with Native Americans broken again..shame
It is IMMORAL to take dirty cigarette money.
the state loses enough money on these casino scams anyway......NYS is in dire straits....they need the cigarette tax......
maybe the tribes could renegotiate their compacts and agree to pay a certain percent of their profits to the state?...and then the state would stop taxing their cigarette sales...
Sorry, but this whole cigarette tax and the associated limited distribution that has passed recently should be not only illegal but unconstitutional. Just another variation of government overstepping their bounds.
I think you’re on the wrong website. This isn’t the “big government, tax everything that moves, screw Constitutional authority” website.
Heh, actually, I think it is...
“they do not have the right to tell other “sovereign nations”...the USA....that they can’t tax their own citizens....”
1.) I can agree with your above statement, but NYS does not have the right to compel the sovereign Native American Nations to collect said tax!
2.) NYS need for revenue IS NOT a valid justification for breaking agreements.
3.) NYS need for revenue IS NOT a valid concern of the sovereign Native American Nations, pure and simple!
You have probably missed the latest taxes, no transportation of cigarettes, crap that has passed for legislation lately. That may be because they passed it without a vote...
Hell, they made it illegal to send cigarettes through the mail..how unAmerican is that?
I did read a little blurb about that but didn’t get into the details. I still buy loose “pipe” tobacco through the mail. (I think.)
Heh, that is also going away soon. It does really irritate me as I was use to buying cigs via the internet. Just another bogus attempt to collect taxes I suppose, kinda reminds me of the30’s.
I don’t think so!
For example, sales tax is a tax upon the seller, the authority to tax derives from the privilege granted to the commercial enterprise to do business, as expressed in granting a business license!
Point of sale has absolutely nothing to do with authority to tax!
All that goes out the window when dealing with Indian Reservation activities...
I was already priced out of my favorite, American Spirit, because of tax increases before the SCHIP increase.
OK, but does the Fed Gov have the authority to grant or deny the right to do business on an Indian res? I thought that would be up to the res gov.
Is 'sovereign nation' really the right term?
The State gov, and town and county gov’s are super fine, if not fat. They don’t need the taxes. Further, the tax money would stay, somewhere, in the local economy, instead of sucked into the fat, corrupt, wasteful government economy.
The money in the private economy would be spent on breakfast, McD’s, gas, rent, bars, tires....what ever. But locally, and to private business.
If it is taxed, that tax money is removed from private citizens, who would of spent it, and sucked into the black hole of government.
If these taxes would ‘revive’ the economy, then raise all taxes 300 percent, or more. Right?
“OK, but does the Fed Gov have the authority to grant or deny the right to do business on an Indian res? I thought that would be up to the res gov.”
Short answer: No, of course not. Sovereign means Feds have no authority over commerce, as well as local laws, pure and simple!
Clearly, if the Native American Nations are indeed sovereign, then the Federal Government has absolutely no authority to tax any business activity conducted within any sovereign Native American Nation.
If the Federal government wants to tax citizens who purchase goods from a sovereign Native American Nation, then that is another question. Since the Constitution explicitly prohibits a head tax, taxing a citizen directly would be problematic, at best, and totally unlawful in my opinion. But who am I? Perhaps a Constitutional Lawyer can address these issues more resolutely than I.
No, I think you’ve said it. The Feds are authorizing themselves to break the law on both sides of the equation.
Yep I agree - let us be more specific, the Criminals within the Federal and State governments are ‘authorizing’! POX upon them all say I
The state of New York has no right to collect sales taxes in another country, which is what the Indian nations are.
Plus the constitution gives the Federal government all powers to deal with the Indian tribes. NY has no jurisdiction.
Agreed. They are ruining the fishing in Northern MN due to the netting, etc., they are allowed to do. They must have skin in the game of living in this country as well. No free rides for anyone, including the indians. They get casinos? We should charge tolls to get to and from those casinos. It’s gone to far.
As far as health concerns....I'm betting that more people will now die from stress....
But the greater problem is....The intrference by the government in our daily lives.
We now have Michelle telling us what to eat...
And why is everyone I know on some kind of meds?
The state gets a nice healthy cut on the casinos.
Better living through chemistry? ;)
NY state’s need for revenue is no excuse for taxing a single portion of its citizenry at such a rate as to make driving many, many miles to a reservation a viable option, either.
NY’s smokers, as I’m sure you know, have been bent over the table at the drop of a hat for years now. The legislature uses smokers as its whipping boy every few months, it seems.
When heroin is cheaper than a pack of cigarettes, you know you’ve got a problem.
The bozos in Albany have obviously never heard of the principle of diminishing returns, which might also explain how they’ve managed to screw up their budgets for the last 40 years.
If they have a problem with how much cash they’re able to steal from the state’s smokers, they shouldn’t look at the Indians, they should look in the mirror.
‘if’ being the operative word. The concept of ‘sovereign’ is a recent finding in law — circa 1978 - prior to that “finding”, reservation Indians were considered “wards of the State” - hence the Dept of Indian Affairs.
The concept of ‘sovereign’ apples only to recognized Treaty Tribes, as not all tribes have treaties.
In Alaska the local tribes are corporations, not nations.
Also the vast majority of Indians (of any tribe) live off-reservation -— for good reasons.
The cig. cos. should move off shore and refuse to ship their product to any state unless requested by that state and the fed/guv. See how that grabs em.
Paladino the TEA Party candidate believes non-indians should pay tax on cigarettes.
In this action for declaratory and injunctive relief, the issue is whether the State Department of Taxation and Finance may require plaintiff, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, to collect and remit sales, use and excise taxes on sales of cigarettes and motor fuel to non-Indian consumers at plaintiff's retail business on the Cattaraugus Reservation. Because the issue is directly governed by controlling precedent, we affirm the order of the Appellate Division dismissing plaintiff's complaint.
The United States Supreme Court has clearly established that State tax statutes requiring Indian retailers to collect and remit taxes on sales to non-Indian purchasers, and to keep the records necessary to ensure compliance, violate neither the Commerce Clause nor the constitutional proscription against direct taxation of Indians absent explicit Congressional consent (see, Oklahoma Tax Commn. v Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, 498 US 505; Washington v Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, 447 US 134; Moe v Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, 425 US 463). To the extent plaintiff contends that the State tax statutes at issue violate either the Supremacy Clause or New York law, his arguments are unpreserved and cannot be considered on this appeal. Plaintiff's complaint asserted only violations of the Commerce Clause and "the Laws of the United States enacted pursuant thereto".
It is, in the whacky world of government. The "sovereign" nature of indian reservations is a legal fiction kept in place to save face all around. If they were truely a "sovereign nation", they wouldn't be getting welfare, food stamps, and all kind of other federal goodies.
Indeed. More like “wards of the state” than “sovereign nations”.
“And why is everyone I know on some kind of meds? “
Yeah noticed that as well.. I am proud to say I am on NONE of them. I suppose a drugged population (be they for any number of newly created medical “conditions” or illegal drugs) Is a whole lot easier to control.
I see kids in their 20s with more pills today than most seniors.
Honestly? I think life was better when we didn’t nanny people to death and left them alone. NYS will eventually learn this no matter how miserable they make the state.
Yes, I left out the state of NY. I am so used to focusing on the FedGov here. A POX on them all is quite fitting.
Yep, Paladino is a RINO. He is also anti-gun and pro-abortion IIRC.
Thanks for the ping!
If they are a sovereign nation, treat them like one. If they are not, then do the same.
The Indian reservations have destroyed the tribes.
The tribes should use any legal rights and power they have to call the tax and spend nanny state dogs off. We all need to stand up for our rights and each others’ rights now.
Ole tin-eared Barry has shown everyone what a cold unfeeling giant the FedGov is and how little it actually does for us with our money.
It is IMMORAL to use the guns of government to enforce a personal objection to a legal substance.