Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb: Governor’s Call For Collection Of Taxes From Sales On Native American Lands To Non-Native Americans Was The “Right Thing To Do”

January 20, 2010

New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today applauded Governor David Paterson’s 2010-11 Executive Budget directive requiring the State Department of Taxation and Finance to move forward in collecting sales taxes from purchases made on Native American lands by non-Native Americans. Kolb characterized it as the “right thing to do” to ensure a “level playing field for all convenience stores.”

“Governor Paterson’s 2010-11 Executive Budget unveiled yesterday contained a provision directing the State Department of Taxation and Finance to end a policy of delay and move forward with the enforcement of sales tax collections from purchases and transactions made on Native American lands by non-Native Americans, as allowed by law,” Kolb said.

“I applaud the Governor for including this requirement. If our laws are to mean anything, they must be applied equally to everyone. No person or group is above the law or below it. That basic standard of fairness and equal treatment is at the very core of our system of justice. This is absolutely the case when it comes to the state collecting sales taxes on purchases and transactions occurring on recognized Native American lands,” Kolb said.

“Mom-and-Pop convenience stores have been working hard but financially struggling because their competitors have not had to operate under the same set of rules. Now, New York will begin a long overdue process of making the economic playing field level and having all our laws applied equally and fairly. The fact that it could generate over $200 million in the collection of state sales taxes on cigarette sales alone is welcome news in light of New York’s multi-billion dollar budget gap that needs closing,” Kolb said.

“On this issue, the Governor showed leadership, and he should be commended for having done so,” Kolb concluded.