Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during a question-and-answer session today with reporters following his appearance at Daemen College in Amherst, said “threats” wouldn’t stop the state from collecting taxes from the sale of cigarettes on Indian reservations.
The state and several Indian tribes are currently in a court battle over the provision of collecting the taxes from sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to non-tribal citizens. The plan was put into motion by former Gov. David Paterson last year after the state Legislature approved the measure.
Here’s what the governor said:
“We are now going forward with the case. Everybody has to pay taxes, nobody likes to pay taxes. Nobody’s come up to me saying I really enjoy paying taxes and we’re going to collect taxes from everyone. There are no exceptions. And threats are not going to stop the government from doing its job and we’re not going to be intimidated.”
The Seneca Nation of Indians on Thursday released a statement decrying the governor’s budget for including the tax revenue as part of his overall cash-flow plan.
The history of collecting taxes from the tribes is fraught with conflict. When the state last attempted to follow through with such a plan in 1997, tribal members blocked traffic on the Interstate and set fire to tires.