More Than $300 Million Lost Since June 3, According to Tobacco Tax Ticker

Web-based Tax Ticker Shows Revenue Lost from Native American Cigarette Sales Over Six Months

ALBANY, NY (12/02/2008)(readMedia)-- -

FACT: New York State has now lost over $300 million in revenue from failing to collect the excise tax on Indian cigarette sales, according to the web-based "Tobacco Tax Ticker" located at

FACT: Legislation by the Assembly and Senate making enforcement of the tax law easier for state government still hasn't been sent to Governor Paterson for his approval.

FACT: The legislation is constitutionally permitted, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1994 that the regulatory system to pre-collect taxes on sales to non-Native Americans was entirely constitutional.

FACT: Just last week, Cayuga and Seneca county sheriff's deputies seized 17,600 cartons of cigarettes from the Cayuga Indian Nation, which would have netted New York State approximately $485,000 in state excise taxes.

FACT: Collection of these taxes will prompt an estimated 150,000 New Yorkers to quit smoking and help provide funds for vital health programs that serve the uninsured.

New York State's leading public health organizations again urge Governor Paterson to move promptly to collect taxes on cigarettes sold on Native American reservations. We urge that the Legislature send the bill to the Governor at once, and that the Governor promptly sign it.