|Jump to full article: Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, 2010-10-05|
Author: Scott Rapp / The Post-Standard
The Cayuga Indian Nation today won another court victory in its bid to continue selling tax-free cigarettes at its LakeSide Trading stores in Union Springs and Seneca Falls.
The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a request by Cayuga and Seneca counties to overturn a recent ruling in which the state Court of Appeals sided with the Cayugas, lawyers for both sides said.
The decision settles once and for all the question of whether the nation's stores are on a qualified reservation, said Lee Alcott, a Syracuse lawyer who represents the Cayugas.
"The (Supreme Court) decision essentially affirms not only the Court of Appeals ruling … but also that the nation has a reservation and that the taxpayers of Cayuga and Seneca counties will no longer have to bear the costs of another futile attempt to prove otherwise,'' Alcott added.
Last May, the state Court of Appeals ruled the counties could not prosecute the Cayugas for selling tax-free cigarettes to non-Indians at its stores because the stores are on qualified reservation land under state tax law.
In its ruling, the appeals court also sided with the Cayugas because there was no state system in place to collect the tax.
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