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Appeals court bars Indian tobacco tax 

Score another win for Native American businesses.
Jump to full article: Buffalo (NY) News, 2008-05-03


An appeals court on Friday upheld a Buffalo judge's decision to bar the State Legislature from forcing tax officials to begin imposing new regulations on tobacco wholesalers dealing with Native American businesses on reservations.

The five-judge Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester agreed with a Franklin County wholesaler and Seneca Indian businessman Scott B. Maybee that the three-year-old effort by state lawmakers and former Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer is not in effect. . . .

The Green decision affirmed that the Legislature's most recent effort to collect taxes on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations is not currently state law because state Department of Taxation and Finance never issued new rules for businesses. . . .

But the senior judge stressed that as of now "no system has been drafted to allow wholesale dealers and reservation sellers to verify sales to tax-exempt purchasers on reservations."

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