NY Governor Paterson to negotiate with Native Americans over cigarette taxes..

August 27, 2008 - Gov. David A. Paterson insists the New York State has a legal right to collect taxes on Indian retailer cigarette sales but says he wants to negotiate with the tribes to end the years-long stalemate instead of trying to force an immediate halt to the tax-free sales.

In the interview, Paterson said he wants to treat talks with Indian leaders “almost like international diplomacy.” He said he wants to reach an “accommodation” with the tribes on the tax issue; he did not say precisely what that may entail.

Paterson recalled the confrontations between Indian protesters and former governors Mario M. Cuomo and George E. Pataki. In 1995, the Thruway was shut down during violent clashes between Indians and state troopers when Pataki tried to collect the tax. He immediately backed off the effort. Former Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer also talked tough on the topic but backed down and sought a conciliatory approach.

Reference: Paterson to negotiate with Native Americans over cigarette taxes
Governor pins hopes on diplomatic approach
by Tom Precious, The Buffalo News, 08/21/08.

Related news brief:State Legislature passes surprise bill to tax Indian cigarettes; Philip Morris, supports the tax collection.

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