As part of his continued efforts to ensure the collection of excise taxes on cigarettes sold on Native American lands to non-Native American Indians, Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) has co-sponsored legislation that would help ensure a fair and level playing field for all of New York’s retailers. The legislation Kolb is co-sponsoring, Assembly Bill A.10128-A, would direct all cigarette wholesalers to sell only tax-stamped cigarettes to everyone, unless presented with an Indian tax exemption coupon.
The bill has taken on heightened importance in the wake of a recent State Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the Cayuga Indian Nation allowing their continued refusal to collect the taxes. The initiative, introduced by Assemblyman Bill Magee, is currently before the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for consideration.
“It is unfair that mom-and-pop convenience stores and neighborhood gas stations are expected to uphold the law while the Cayuga Indian Nation continues to operate above it,” said Kolb. “I strongly believe that all our state laws should be upheld and enforced fairly and without favor. Clearly, this is currently not the case and failure to do so creates an unfair advantage for businesses operating on Native American lands.”
Earlier this year, Governor Paterson had said that the required state regulations to collect cigarette sales taxes for purchases made on Native American lands by non-Native American Indians would be in place within six months. With July marking that six-month deadline, Kolb continues pressing to get the regulations in place and is the only Legislative Leader in state government continually advocating for the law to be enforced and the taxes to be collected.
“The state needs to put regulations in place to access this revenue stream as soon as possible to finally level the playing field for all retailers, not just a select few. Taking this action could put New York on course to generate an extra $600 million in revenues to begin the process of closing the state’s $9.05 billion budget deficit,” Kolb stated.
“I am working to make the collection of these taxes on gasoline and cigarettes a top priority and urging my fellow legislators to pass the bill I am co-sponsoring so we can finally provide a fair and level playing field for everyone,” Kolb concluded. “The time for action is now.”