Business | Law

New York taking enforcement actions for tribal tobacco sales

The state of New York is taking action to stop the sale of tax-free cigarettes in Indian Country, The Buffalo News reports.

Since June 21, the state has seized tobacco worth more than $1.5 million from tribal retailers, the paper said. The shipments were stopped before they reached reservations, according to the state.

State laws and regulations require wholesalers who do business with tribes to pay the state's tax up front. Some wholesalers have apparently stopped working with tribes as a result, the paper said.

Tribes are responding by selling brands manufactured in Indian Country. "Our sovereign control of cigarette manufacturing on our territories is far different than imported cigarettes made elsewhere. The law treats that situation very differently," Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter told the paper.

Enforcement stepped up after state and federal courts said there was no reason to block the state's tax scheme.

Get the Story:
State launches crackdown on reservation cigarettes (The Buffalo News 7/14)

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