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Seneca Nation Statement on Appeals Court Ruling

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President Porter sees new era with non-taxable native brands for sale

The following is a statement from Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter about today’s Appellate Court ruling involving a state law that attempts to tax tobacco sales.

Porter said today:

“The Seneca Nation will of course seek review of this decision by the state Court of Appeals.

“For more than 200 years, the Seneca Nation has thwarted New York State’s efforts to steal our land, destroy our sovereignty, and tax commerce in our territories. In our treaties with the United States, we gave up most of our land to retain the ‘free use and enjoyment’ to conduct business in our remaining territories free from the state’s taxes. New York will never collect a cent of revenue from tobacco sales occurring in our territories, and revenue projections so indicating are foolishness.

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“Instead, today marks the beginning of a new era in the Nation’s tobacco trade and exercise of our sovereignty. Seneca people are now manufacturing cigarettes in our territories and our Nation’s government will work with them to ensure that our tobacco economy is sustained and regulated.

“We will continue to block the state’s long-standing crusade to confiscate our national wealth, sacrifice native and non-native jobs and interfere with our way-of-life. While the state may be able to embargo through taxation premium brands from entering our territory, it cannot tax the brands made in our territory or any of the Six Nations. We will never stop fighting the state’s predatory actions.”

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