Another federal judge blocks taxing Native Sale of cigs in NY

Albany, New York (AP) September 2010

Another federal judge is blocking state officials from collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Indians, this time it’s involving the Mohawks in northern New York.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn is blocking the tax collection until he decides whether to issue an injunction sought by the Mohawks who claim the taxes violate tribal sovereignty.

Kahn is ordering a hearing next Thursday in Albany.

Nine New York tribes operate tax-free cigarette businesses.

A midlevel state appeals court earlier this week cleared the state’s plan to tax reservation cigarettes sold to non-Indians.

Under a separate federal court order in western New York, the Senecas and Cayugas are temporarily exempt through Sept. 28. The Oneidas have also filed suit.