January 14, 2009

Senecas to collect thruway tolls

Seneca Nation prepares for 'the worst' in tax disputeInvoking past uprisings provoked by proposed state taxation, the Seneca Indian Nation warned Tuesday it is building up its reservation security forces, has alerted tribal members to stock up on necessities, and served notice on the Paterson administration that it is "preparing for the worst."

The western New York tribe's action is related to Gov. David Paterson's decision to sign into a law a bill that would force tobacco wholesalers who supply Native American stores to pay excise taxes to the state. Paterson's budget plan for next year counts on $120.8 million from Indian taxes.

The law is aimed at resolving the long-simmering concern by lawmakers in Albany that Indian stores fail to collect and remit taxes on cigarettes and other products sold to non-Indians.
And:Shortly after Snyder made the statement, a few dozen people were spotted along the Thruway in Irving starting a big bonfire on the side of the highway, according to a Seneca Nation member.

In 1992 and 1997 tax protests, large tire fires closed a section of the Thruway, and tribal members clashed with State Police in violent confrontations that led to several arrests and injuries.

"This justifies taking any and all prudent actions to protect and defend the Nation's economy and the way of life of the Seneca people," Snyder said.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Kootenai "War" Against the US.

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