Negotiations over cigarette tax will precede any action by the state
Submitted by Philip Anselmo on January 26, 2009 - 9:08am
The Buffalo News reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will meet and negotiate with the leaders of the Seneca Nation before any shipments of cigarettes to Seneca retailers are halted. Aaron Besecker reports:
During a rally Sunday just south of the Route 438 Thruway overpass, [Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr.] read a letter from Gov. David A. Paterson in which the governor indicated his desire to begin talks with the Indian nation about the dispute over tax collection on cigarettes sold by Native American merchants to non-Indians.
It sounds as if the governor is considering backing off from enforcing the law that he himself signed in December that requires wholesalers to show to the state tax department that they are not selling tax-free cigarettes to retailers. If they fail to comply, they could be charged with perjury. In the meantime, a justice of the state Supreme Court "issued a temporary restraining order ... that blocks the state from enforcing its policy."
Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said he would not comment on a private conversation between the governor and Snyder, but he did say a negotiated compromise on the cigarette tax issue “is an avenue [Paterson] would like to take.”
“The governor sees it as a window of opportunity,” Hook said.
What exactly would Gov. Paterson negotiate? This seems to be a pretty cut and dry issue. Either the state enforces the law or the law is repealed. Can you see any compromise on this?