senecas smokin’ again

Well, it looks like the bonfires on the thruway have been averted for the time being.  The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has issued a letter to the Buffalo firm that sells the Senecas most of their cigarettes saying that they can continue to ignore the tax law and not pay the taxes on those cigarettes.  So the Senecas are happy for the moment, although one tribal guy said it’s just a temporary fix.  And Eliot Spitzer is peeved, saying that it’s probably not a good precedent to just ignore laws.  This thing looks like its going to go on the back burner for a while.  Again.

Let’s just take a look at a few things here, shall we?  I do not claim to be an expert on Indian affairs, but this thing seems to be fairly simple.  The US Supreme Court has ruled that the 19th century treaties with Native Americans do not allow for tax-free sales to non-Indians.  So that’s the trick, right?  If that’s our nation’s interpretation, then we either go with it or don’t go with it.  If we do, then we should enforce the law, and consequences be damned.  But if we as a nation (or state) decide that the enforcement of the law is not worth the consequences, then get rid of it.  Repeal the law, and move on.  What drives me insane is that the State of New York has been dicking around with this issue for at least a decade, and probably even longer.  Would it be so hard to finally decide this one way or the other?  Is there no resolution in sight? 

Here’s my problem with the state’s handling of this.  The first thing is that it’s gone on too long.  As a good friend on mine once advised, make a decision and live with it.  Secondly, I don’t see that the revenues from taxing the cigarettes are worth the aggravation that the Indians are obviously more than willing to give us. 

My main objection to the collection of these taxes on cigarettes is based on something I think we can all somewhat agree on.  Do we need the revene?  Is this extra few million so damned necessary?  Here’s a thought for the State Of New York: SPEND LESS MONEY

Oh, I’m sorry.  Silly thought. 

2 Responses to “senecas smokin’ again”

  1. LC Scotty Says:


    Dude, you’re funny.

  2. just get off the pot, already « Red’s Basement Says:

    […] a budget gap with cigarette tax money collected from Native American retailers on sovereign land.  I’ve written about this before, and my stance has not changed…it’s time for the State of New York to shit or get off […]

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