Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Senate Committe Seeks Answers on Cigarette Tax Sales

The Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations is holding a hearing today at 10:30 a.m. at Borough of Manhattan Community College to discuss New York state's failure in collecting taxes on cigarettes sold to Non-Native Americans on Indian reservations, announced Committee Chairman Senator Craig M. Johnson.

Last year a law was passed that required these taxes to be collected, but the state Department of Taxation and Finance has been obstructed in their collection efforts.

Witnesses confirmed to appear include the Governor's Counsel Peter Kiernan, Deputy Commissioner of the State Department of Taxation and Finance William Comiskey, representatives from the Seneca, St. Regis Mohawk, Onondaga and Poospatuck nations, as well as representatives from New York City, local governments and the tobacco and convenience store industries, and others.

UPDATE 11:35 A.M.
“The failure to secure this badly needed revenue continues as other states – most recently Florida – have been able to reach tax collection agreements with their local Native American nations,” said Sen. Johnson in a prepared statement. “This committee wants to be helpful in crafting a solution to this problem, but first we – and the public – need to be apprised of where the state and the nations stand.”

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