NIAGARA FALLS NY (12/23/2016)(readMedia)-- The following statement was issued today by Jim Calvin, President of the New York Association of Convenience Stores:
Today's opening of the one-stop tax avoidance center adjacent to the Niagara Falls casino is an affront to every New Yorker who respects the rule of law.
Neighboring non-Indian gas stations and convenience stores that dutifully collect and remit state and local taxes will be crippled. It will be impossible for them to compete, because state and local taxes add over 40 cents to the price of a gallon of gas and over $5 to the price of a pack of cigarettes. Gas tax revenue intended to fix New York State roads and bridges will be lost. Cigarette tax revenue intended to fund New York State health care programs will be lost.
New York State law says gasoline and cigarettes sold by tribal enterprises to non-Indian customers are subject to New York State tax, but for some reason the Senecas apparently are being allowed to ignore that.
New York's casino compact with the Senecas says that all business activity on their Niagara Falls property must be directly related to gaming, but for some reason the Senecas apparently are being allowed to ignore that.
As we have said many times, we respect the right of Native Americans to operate commercial enterprises, but anyone doing business with New Yorkers should be required to abide by duly enacted New York State standards for such commerce.