(Courtesy of Buffalo News)
Tax free cigarettes will continue to be sold to non-Natives on the Seneca Nation for the meantime.
A New York State Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order on the proposed New York state tax of cigarettes Tuesday. The state cannot collect taxes on the sale of cigarettes to non-Indians on Seneca land until the judge hears arguments in the issue on June 1, the Buffalo News reports.
The issue has been bouncing around in courts for months, as the tribes fight the tax.
Meanwhile, two major tobacco wholesalers said this morning that they have shut off the tobacco supply line to Indian tribes across the state.
“It looks like it’s over,” said Peter Day, president of Day Wholesale in Tupper Lake.
The moves come a day after a federal court gave the state the green light to begin collecting taxes on cigarette sales by Indian retailers to non-Indians.
“We’ll be out of business,” said Frank Attea of Buffalo’s Attea Milhem & Bros.
He said the court decision will force him to close his Buffalo tobacco business, which once had been the major tobacco supplier to the Seneca Nation of Indians. He said 30 workers face the loss of their jobs.
Tags: cigarette tax, New York, Seneca Nation
The Blackfeet Tribe is gearing up to build its own grocery store – a $6 million project that will include all the regular goods, maybe gas and even a set of slot machines.
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council is hoping to offer nearby residents an affordable place to shop right in town, the Great Falls Tribune reports.
The store will be run by a board. Groundbreaking is set for June.
Sharp said the tribe’s Glacier Family Foods will carry Western Family products. Browning also is home to Teeples Market, which carries IGA brands.
The council will form an LLC and hire a management team to run the store.
“We want to put a cushion between the store operation and the tribe,” Sharp said.
The new grocery store will mean lower prices, said T.J. Show, council executive secretary.
“That’s the intention: to pass on savings to the consumer, to help the Blackfeet people,” Show said. “We feel prices are higher at the other grocery store because they’re the only game in town, a monopoly.”