Monday, July 13, 2009

Court Allows New York Tribe To Sell Tax-Free Cigarettes

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A New York state appeals court decided that the Cayuga Indian Tribe of New York can sell tax-free cigarettes on their ancestral homeland even though the stores are not located on what is technically considered reservation land held in trust by the federal government.

County officials confiscated cigarettes from two of the Cayuga Tribe's stores last Fall and sought to prosecute tribal officials for not collecting state sales taxes from customers on its cigarette sales. The stores stopped selling cigarettes after last year's raid. Authorities confiscated about a half-million dollars worth of cigarettes in that raid.

The tribe is expected to file a lawsuit to recover the value of the confiscated cigarettes as well as the loss of revenue that resulted from the Tribe's halting of cigarette sales since the raid.