Tobacco Tax Ticker Approaches $400 Million Dollars

Web-based Tax Ticker Shows Revenue Lost from Native American Cigarette Sales Since June 2008

ALBANY, NY (01/30/2009)(readMedia)-- --

FACT: Early in the morning on Saturday, Jan. 31, New York State will eclipse $400 million in lost revenue from failing to collect excise tax on Indian cigarette sales, according to the web-based "Tobacco Tax Ticker" located at

FACT: In December, Governor Paterson signed a law requiring tobacco wholesalers to provide certification to the state tax department that they have not sold tax-free cigarettes to any retailer.

FACT: In granting a preliminary injunction against implementing the new law, the judge indicated that, for the law to take effect, the Governor must first implement a coupon system allowing Native Americans to purchase tax-free cigarettes mandated by the State Legislature four years.

FACT: Collection of cigarette taxes 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: Collecting the tobacco tax on cigarettes sold on Native American Reservations 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 and explore all possible measures to collect taxes on cigarettes sold on Native American reservations.