Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dances With Cigarettes

via: Peek Out Of Peeker

So I picked up a copy of The Press of Manorville & The Moriches and read an article about how the SC legislature approved a bill to take legal action against the Poospatuck Reservation for the "tax-free sale of cigarettes". Basically, the cigarettes sold at the reservation are supposed to be taxed if non-residents purchase them.

The problem isn't Sam the Smoker, or Carl the Cigar Chomper purchasing tax-free cigarettes. The problem, for the state, is the bootleggers that buy cartons by the trunkfull (literally) and then sell them in the city for $3-4 dollars LESS than what you would purchase them for in the boroughs.

The way I see it, that's a problem between the bootleggers and the state. The reservation should be able to sell them to whomever they want to sell them to without the state stepping in. According to the Poospatuck Reservation website, Governor Pataki "repealed all regulations concerning the imposition of sales and excise taxes on transactions which take place on Indian Territory in New York."

I'd be interested in seeing how this all plays out. The reservation is a limited sovereign nation (I state limited because they can't do certain things, like a preemptive strike at Saddleback Ranch for instance), and therefore the state is very limited in what they can require the "nation" to do. They're not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (federal), but they are by the state.

We shall see...