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News stories tagged with "seneca"

Tribes on cigarette tax

Indian tribes are banding together to fight New York's attempt to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores. Billed as an historic gathering of the six nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy, chiefs from the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora Nations met outside Rochester today.

In a joint statement, they called New York "a foreign nation". And they called the Paterson Administration's move to collect cigarette taxes on reservations "an effort to erode our sovereignty."

The meeting comes a day after the Seneca Nation sued New York in U.S. District Court to block the tax collection.

Paterson says the taxes would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the cash-strapped state. The tax collection is scheduled to begin on September 1st.

The last time New York tried to collect the tobacco taxes on native lands, members of the Seneca Nation burned tires on the New York State Thruway, shutting down New York's main east-west highway.  Go to full article

Paterson wades into tobacco tax controversy

Facing a more than $7 billion deficit, Governor Paterson is plumbing even long-shot revenue sources to make up the spending gap - things like the so-called "obesity tax" on soft drinks. Another is collecting tobacco taxes from the state's Indian Nations. Initial reaction from tribal chiefs suggests Albany shouldn't expect the money anytime soon. As David Sommerstein reports, Paterson has been reluctant to tread where past Governors have failed.  Go to full article

Mohawks Delay Tax Vote

St. Regis Mohawk tribal chiefs have postponed a referendum on whether the tribe should enter into a tax agreement with New York State on tobacco and gas. The decision comes after the state postponed a plan to tax non-natives who buy cigarettes and gas on reservations. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Seneca President Lobbies Against Tax Collections

The Seneca Nation says it will fight a new law that would collect sales taxes on cigarettes sold on reservations to non-natives. The President of the Seneca Nation says he can't rule out violent protests if state officials try to enforce the December 1st law. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Seek to Limit Tribal Jurisdiction

Across the country, some native tribes are buying land far from their reservations with the intent of opening gambling ventures there. New York's congressional delegation is proposing a bill that would curtail the practice, which lawmakers are calling "reservation shopping". The legislation stems from a dispute over a bingo hall the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Oklahoma wants to build in the Finger Lakes area. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks Oppose NY Tax Plan

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe last week lashed out against the state's plan to collect cigarette and gas taxes on reservations. Earlier this month, the state taxation department released a plan to tax non-native purchases at native-owned gas and tobacco shops. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Iroquois Gather to Protest Casino Deals

Members of all six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy will gather tomorrow for the first time in decades. They plan to criticize casino and land claim deals pending in New York and the tribal councils that negotiated them. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Seneca Cigarette Smugglers Linked to Hezbollah

Two women from the Seneca Nation in western New York are indicted for participation in a cigarette smuggling ring that allegedly helped fund the terrorist group Hezbollah. David Sommerstein has details.  Go to full article

Pataki Bets on Casinos for Upstate Economy

As Governor Pataki tours Upstate New York in his campaign for a third term, he's been announcing economic development initiatives as he goes. One creates a $100 million dollar seed fund for new projects Upstate. But as David Sommerstein reports, half of that money is to come from native-owned casinos that have yet to be built.  Go to full article

Senecas to Hold Casino Referendum

Tribal members of the Seneca Nation are preparing to decide the future of casino gambing on the reservation and in Western New York. David Sommerstein reports next week's tribal referendum on Seneca casinos is expected to be close.  Go to full article

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