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August 31, 2010 - 7:13am

Today's Poll: Should New York be able to collect tax on tobacco sold on reservations?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Mike Corona
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I wonder if the no votes are smokers. People seem to decide matters by their wallets!!
Peter O'Brien
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I voted no and I only occasionally smoke cigars.
Randy Smart
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Sometimes the issues are about more than just money. Sometimes the issues are about the rights of others being taken away by the government. Haven't the Native Americans lost enough already?
Ron C Welker
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Voted No! "leave well enough alone"
George Richardson
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A deal is a deal. Haven't enough treaties been broken by the forked tongued white man? I don't smoke cigarettes and I don't renege on a deal. When a NYS resident buys a product over the internet from some other state, they don't collect taxes for NYS. That's just the way it goes.
Peter O'Brien
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George, That depends on the website, Patterson madea power grab to do just that.
Irene Will
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they're collecting on cigs sold to "non-indians". So if I'm 1/16th indian, do I qualify ? How can they TELL if you're an indian or not ??? Where's the line ?
Irene Will
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If I do the "blood brother" thing - like in the old movies - where you cut your finger and mingle your blood with an indian to become a "blood brother" - THEN am I an indian ??
Irene Will
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Do the indians carry CARDS that say they're indians ? My driver's license doesn't SAY whether I am - or NOT.
Chris Charvella
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New York State is crossing the line here. As I've said before on this site about this issue, you can't manufacture a tax base just because you're broke. NYS goes after Native cigarette and gas sales every time we get into a tough financial position and it needs to end now. If the Natives lose this fight in court they should immediately put up toll booths on the parts of the thruway that run through their land and refuse to give a nickel in shared casino revenue to the state.
Gabor Deutsch
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Irene, you make a good point. (you need to cut your palm and hold each others hand) I bet the next step will be requiring Native Americans to have some papers or special green card type thing the government will issue and you can bet NYS will look to tax that ! The only thing NYS can do legally is set up check points right off the Rez and stop traffic to confiscate and fine people like they did before. That would generate more revenue for NYS and Albany to piss away !
Frank Bartholomew
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New York will tax you .
Mike Corona
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From Mr. Charvella: If the Natives lose this fight in court they should immediately put up toll booths on the parts of the thruway that run through their land and refuse to give a nickel in shared casino revenue to the state. If that was to happen-- 1st- Tolls to get off reservation property to NYS land!! You decide pay tolls on truway or add a few minutes to your trip. Let Indians decide if they want to pay NYS tolls to get off the REZ 2nd- Open up NYS state to all private companies for gambling!! That should take care of the Indian Casinos I dont see them lining the strip in Las Vegas. 3rd- Govenor take the short term loss on tobacco taxes and have 5 or 6 tax free days on tobacco products per month. That should take care of Rez smoke shops. I think if I was the leaders of the soveriegn nation I would deal with the new tax and keep the nation relavent. Why does everything need to be a big fight?
Frank Bartholomew
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Mike, picking the fight.
Chris Charvella
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It's about principle Mike. NYS thinks it can treat sales on the reservations as their own personal piggy bank for when times get tough. Completely unacceptable.
It sounds like you have an issue with the Native Americans to me Mr Corona instead of a valid argument. The treaty with the federal government clearly grants Native Americans Sovergnty. There is no discussion. New York State has danced around three different ways to try and find a State loop hole, not federal. The State of New York has no authority, nor right to tax these products, just as they do not have a right to tax products coming in from Canada. You're right, it doesn't need to be a big fight, New York State needs to follow the treaty. Now, I am not a smoker, do not go to the Rez for gas and do not gamble. I have no investment in what the Senecas or any other nation do. I believe that in the treaty that we signed. You or any other person who voted yes, including NY State, do not seem to understand that by violating this treaty you are declaring war on a Sovergn nation. If you think this over the top, then I challenge you to go back in history and review how many conflicts have began for these very reasons. Just because you don't like something, doesn't mean you're right. Last, The different Nations have the ability to purchase their goods from out of state wholesalers, thus negating what would be considered New York Taxable product regardless. I find it sad that we treat illegal immigrants with more respect than those who were here before even us. Just sad.
MaryB Cunningham
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I voted NO, and I quit smoking years ago. I don't buy my gas there either as it's out of the way for me but I believe the treaty should be honored.
Mike Corona
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Could someone please post the part of the treaty that has to do with these issues.
Julie A Pappalardo
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TREATY WITH THE SIX NATIONS, 1794 A Treaty between the United States of America, and the tribes of Indians called the Six Nations. The President of the United States having determined to hold a conference with the Six Nations of Indians, for the purpose of removing from their minds all causes of complaint, and establishing a firm and permanent friendship with them, and Timothy Pickering being appointed sole agent for that purpose; and the agent having met and conferred with the Sachems, Chiefs and Warriors of the Six Nations, in a general council: Now, in order to accomplish the good design of this conference, the parties have agreed on the following articles; which, when ratified by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate of the united States, shall be binding on them and the Six Nations. ARTICLE I. Peace and friendship are hereby established, and shall be perpetual, between the United States and the Six Nations. ARTICLE II. The United States acknowledge the lands reserved to the Oneida, Onondaga and Cayuga Nations, in their respective treaties with the State of New York, and called their reservations, to be their property; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb them or either of the Six Nations, nor their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: but the said reservations shall remain theirs, until they choose to sell the same to the people of the Untied States, who have the right to purchase. ARTICLE III. The land of the Seneca Nation is bounded as follows: Beginning on lake Ontario, at the northwest corner of the land they sold to Oliver Phelps, the line runs westerly along the lake, as far as O-yng-wong-yeh Creek, at Johnson’s Landing Place, about four miles eastward from the fort of Niagara; then southerly up that creek to its main fork, then straight to the main fork of Stedman’s Creek, which empties into the river Niagara, above for Schlosser, and then onward, from that fork, continuing the same straight course, to that river; (this line, from the mouth of O-yng-wong-yeh Creek to the river Niagara, above Fort Schlosser, being the eastern boundary of a strip of land, extending from the same line to Niagara River, which the Seneca Nation ceded to the King of Great Britain at a treaty held about thirty years ago, with Sir William Johnson;) then the line runs along the river Niagara to Lake Erie; then along Lake Erie to the northeast corner of a triangular piece of land which the United States conveyed to the state of Pennsylvania, as by the President’s patent, dated the third day of March, 1792; then due south to the northern boundary of that state; then due east to the southwest corner of the land sold by the Seneca Nation to Oliver Phelps; and then north and northerly, along Phelps’ line, to the place of beginning on lake Ontario. Now, the United States acknowledge all the land within the aforementioned boundaries, to be the property of the Seneca Nation; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb the Seneca Nation, nor any of the Six Nations, or of their friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: but it shall remain theirs, until they choose to sell the same to the people of the United States, who have the right to purchase. ARTICLE IV. The United States having thus described and acknowledged what lands belong to the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, and engaged never to claim the same, nor to disturb them, or any of the Six Nations, or their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: Now, the Six Nations, and each of them, hereby engage that they will never claim any other lands within the boundaries of the United States; nor ever to disturb the people of the United States in the free use and enjoyment thereof. ARTICLE V. The Seneca Nation, all others of the Six Nations concurring, cede to the United States the right of making a wagon road from Fort Schlosser to Lake Erie, as far couth as Buffalo Creek; and the people of the United States shall have the free and undisturbed use of this road, for the purposes of traveling and transportation. And the Six Nations, and each of them, will forever allow to the people of the United States, a free passage through their lands, and the free use of the harbors and rivers adjoining and within their respective tracts of land, for the passing and securing of vessels and boats, and liberty to land their cargoes where necessary for their safety. ARTICLE VI. In consideration of the peace and friendship hereby established, and of the engagements entered into by the Six Nation; and because the United States desire, with humanity and kindness, to contribute to their comfortable support; and to render the peace and friendship hereby established, strong and perpetual; the United States now deliver to the Six Nations, and the Indians of the other nations residing among and united with them, a quantity of goods of the value of ten thousand dollars. And for the same considerations, and with a view to promote the future welfare of the Six Nations, and of their Indian friends aforesaid, the United States will add the sum of three thousand dollars to the one thousand five hundred dollars, heretofore allowed them by an article ratified by the President, on the twenty-third day of April, 1792; making in the whole, four thousand five hundred dollars; which shall be expended yearly forever, in purchasing clothing, domestic animals, implements of husbandry, and other utensils suited to their circumstances, and in compensating useful artificers, who shall reside with or near them, and be employed for their benefit. The immediate application of the whole annual allowance now stipulated, to be made by the superintendent appointed by the President for the affairs of the Six Nations, and their Indian friends aforesaid. ARTICLE VII. Lest the firm peace and friendship now established should be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, the United States and Six Nations agree, that for injuries done by individuals on either side, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place; but, instead thereof, complaint shall be made by the party injured, to the other: By the Six Nations or any of them, to the President of the Untied States, or the Superintendent by him appointed, and by the Superintendent , or other person appointed by the President, to the principal chiefs of the Six nations, or of the nation to which the offender belongs; and such prudent measures shall then be pursued as shall be necessary to preserve our peace and friendship unbroken; until the legislature (or great council) of the United States shall make other equitable provision for the purpose. NOTE: It is clearly understood by the parties to this treaty, that the annuity stipulated in the sixth article, is to be applied to the benefit of such Six Nation and of their Indian friends united with them as aforesaid, as do or shall reside within the boundaries of the United States: For the United States do not interfere with nations, tribes or families, of Indians elsewhere resident. In witness whereof, the said Timothy Pickering, and the sachems and war chiefs of the said Six Nations, have hereto set their hands and seals. Done at Konondaigua, in the State of New York, the eleventh day of November, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four.
Jeremiah Pedro
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NYS should loose this battle in court. There is precedence in Federal court siding with the Indian Nations in New York. The Oneida Indians won a case in which the State was told they are not allowed to collect property tax on land held by the Oneida Tribe.
John Roach
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Chris, Mike has a one point. The Casinos. Giving the Seneca's or any other Indian group exclusive rights to that is wrong. It should be open to others. As for the tax, it would not be so bad if it was used to off set cost of schools and services to Native Americans in their areas, and to improve the reservation infrastructure. But the tax money will all be wasted by Albany. And then what will they do next year for even more money? Leave the Indians alone and lower the taxes for everyone else.
Tom Guentner
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Burn Baby, Burn.......
Howard B. Owens
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A judge has blocked New York from collecting the tax, according to the D&C.
Mark Potwora
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Its the Indians this week,last week the state wanted to go after Bruegger’s Bagel..The state claims that if they slice the bagel for you it becomes a prepared food and should be taxed..This state needs to cut the spending budget and leave all these businesses alone..You have the GCEDC giving tax breaks to all who knock on their door,but tax established businesses..The Indians have a treaty New York needs to respect that...Maybe if they didn't raise the cigerette tax so high people won't drive for miles to save a buck..I think we should burn Albany down..
Bea McManis
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Native American Service in the U.S. Military Large numbers of Native Americans enlist for military service and represent the highest per capita enlistment of any ethnic group in the United States. The reasons vary from supporting their families and ensuring economic stability, to seeing the world. The stories captured on the DVD present firsthand accounts of trauma and life changes as a result of military service. When World War I erupted, young native men enlisted in numbers that many people might think surprising, considering Native Americans had not yet been granted U.S. citizenship. The number of Native Americans serving in the military remained high during World War II, even when the social climate was such that Native Americans were not allowed to patronize businesses in many reservation border towns in the Southwest and Plains states. Despite experiencing discrimination and prejudice, Native Americans proudly displayed portraits of young men in uniform in their homes during this period. During the last half of the 20th century, Native Americans were frequently forced to assimilate and many ceremonial practices began to disappear or go underground. Additionally, employment rates on or near reservations continued to decrease. As a result, serving in the military became a rite of passage for many young native men. Today, this practice continues not only with our young men, but also with many young native women. Why did so many native people choose to serve their country? As presented in the DVD, there were many factors, not the least being the tradition many tribes have of protecting the community. These tribes continue to view service, sacrifice, and courage as important values and part of an individual’s journey to becoming a leader, protector, and agent of change for his/her family or tribe. On a more practical level, young natives often join the military because it is a way to see the world, support their families, pay for education, and gain experiences that are not available in their own communities. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana/veterans/military.html
Mike Corona
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I see nothing in that treaty that says you cant tax goods sold to non tribal citizens, am I missing something? Looks like the six nations signed an inferior deal.
Bea McManis
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Since there wasn't a sales tax when the treaty was written, do you really believe that it would be in there? Perhaps, Article II says it all ARTICLE II. The United States acknowledge the lands reserved to the Oneida, Onondaga and Cayuga Nations, in their respective treaties with the State of New York, and called their reservations, to be their property; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb them or either of the Six Nations, nor their Indian friends residing thereon and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof: but the said reservations shall remain theirs, until they choose to sell the same to the people of the Untied States, who have the right to purchase.
Bea McManis
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Mike, On the other hand, where do you see, in that treaty, that the government has the right to impose taxes on items sold on the reservation?
Jeff Allen
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Having read the treaty, I don't see where the United States would be required to provide benefits funded by tax dollars such as welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, snow removal, police and fire services, etc. All of these services add up to unfunded expenses when they are distributed to residents of reservations.
Jamie Lindsley
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Do we force Canadian stores to charge US citizens US federal or NY state taxes at the cash registers?
Greg Siedlecki
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When is enough,enough? Under the 2001 Casino Gaming pact ... New York State receives 25% of the slot machine revenues, in exchange for having given the Senecas the exclusive right to operate casinos in Western New York. The state has recieved more than $700 million since the agreement went into effect. It seems to me that the Reservations are already giving the state enough. And the State has already reneged on part of the Pact by calling it's State Slot Locations "Casinos".
Bea McManis
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Posted by Jeff Allen on August 31, 2010 - 9:11pm Having read the treaty, I don't see where the United States would be required to provide benefits funded by tax dollars such as welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, snow removal, police and fire services, etc. All of these services add up to unfunded expenses when they are distributed to residents of reservations. By that reasoning, then no native American should be in the service; they should not have withholding taxes from their salary since their tax dollars should not be spent on the public good. Do you believe that every person on our reservations does not work and only receives public handouts?
Jeremiah Pedro
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"Do American Indians and Alaska Natives pay taxes? Yes. They pay the same taxes as other citizens with the following exceptions: * Federal income taxes are not levied on income from trust lands held for them by the U.S. * State income taxes are not paid on income earned on a federal Indian reservation. * State sales taxes are not paid by Indians on transactions made on a federal Indian reservation. * Local property taxes are not paid on reservation or trust land." This is an excerpt from the following website: http://www.bia.gov/FAQs/index.htm It is the bureau of Indian Affairs government website. Also from the same web site, "What is Public Law 280 and where does it apply? In 1953, Congress enacted Public Law 83-280 (67 Stat. 588) to grant certain states criminal jurisdiction over American Indians on reservations and to allow civil litigation that had come under tribal or federal court jurisdiction to be handled by state courts. However, the law did not grant states regulatory power over tribes or lands held in trust by the United States; federally guaranteed tribal hunting, trapping, and fishing rights; basic tribal governmental functions such as enrollment and domestic relations; nor the power to impose state taxes. These states also may not regulate matters such as environmental control, land use, gambling, and licenses on federal Indian reservations." This seems like so much of a slam dunk in Federal Court it's totally embarrassing for NYS to be pursing this issue.
Jeff Allen
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Bea, not saying that at all. Just pointing out the the "soveriegn nation" status should be dealt with consistently. It appears to be a cake and eat it too situation.
Jeremiah Pedro
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Jeff, They pay Federal income taxes just like you and me. So if they partake in Federally funded programs then they have every right to. They also pay sales taxes on purchases made anywhere outside of the reservations.
Jeff Allen
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Jeremiah, the services I listed before are state and locally taxpayer funded. I have no problem with the treaty, just pointing out the real facts that as the Native Americans gain through a tax advantage by virtue of the treaty, the rest of us are in turn obligated by our state and local taxes to support unfunded expenses that have no offset by the beneficiaries.

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