Albany – New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today applauded Governor Eliot Spitzer’s announcement that the State Department of Taxation and Finance will work to enforce state law requiring tax collections on cigarettes sold by Native Americans to non-Native Americans.
In a recent meeting, Senator Nozzolio discussed the issue of taxation of Indian retailers with Governor Spitzer and was extremely pleased that the new Governor agreed that the current law requiring tax collection must be enforced.
“The on-going disparity in the collection of taxes continues to create an unfair economic disadvantage for our State’s retailers, particularly for those who operate their businesses near Native American retailers,” said Senator Nozzolio. “With the leadership of Governor Spitzer, I am hopeful that the State Department of Taxation and Finance will finally begin collecting taxes on Native American retailers and ensure fairness and a level playing field for New York’s taxpaying retailers.”
Last March, a State law, sponsored by Senator Nozzolio, was enacted requiring the State Department of Taxation and Finance to collect taxes on all retail sales by Native Americans to non-Native Americans. However, the Department of Taxation refrained from enforcing the law as the Pataki administration negotiated land issues with New York’s Indian tribes.
State Supreme Court Justice Rose Sconiers of Buffalo recently issued a preliminary injunction barring New York from enforcing the tax collection law because of the delay of the Department of Taxation to take adequate steps to implement the collection of the taxes.
Governor Spitzer has indicated that his administration supports the law requiring tax collections and will be directing the Department of Taxation to resolve the matter.
“This new administration has the opportunity to rectify the current situation and give the Department of Taxation the tools to begin the collection of these taxes. This issue has a strong impact on the financial stability of our counties and local governments and on the ability of our local businesses to remain economically viable and competitive in our region. As State Senator, I will be working with the new administration on resolving this critical issue,” concluded Nozzolio.