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Monday, December 29, 2008

Senator Schumer has some tentative good news for the NYS budget

The NYT reported this:
In what would be a major boost to Gov. David A. Paterson’s efforts to close the largest deficit in state history, New York could gain as much as $5 billion in extra Medicaid financing as part of the stimulus package being drawn up by Congressional leaders and President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Charles E. Schumer said on Sunday.Click here for the whole story.


BUFFALO - Figures from monthly sales reports that tobacco wholesalers file with New York state's Department of Taxation and Finance indicate Native American retailers are making millions annually selling tax-free cigarettes.

Citing sales reports released in a lawsuit and distributor estimates, The Buffalo News said the profit margin at Seneca stores is about $7 a carton, the difference between what they pay for brand-name cigarettes and what they charge. A congressional report put the figure at $3.

The newspaper reports Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, for example, made $5.4 million from 2005 through 2007 selling tax-exempt cigarettes at his Seneca Hawk gas station on the Cattaraugus Reservation.

A new law, signed by Gov. David Paterson this month, is set to take effect in February. It bans manufacturers from selling unstamped tobacco products to wholesalers that would supply Indian-owned stores. Some lawmakers estimate the state is losing $400 million a year from uncollected taxes on sales to non-Indians.

A judge temporarily barred state officials from enforcing the new law.

State Supreme Court Justice Rose Sconiers signed the order this month in Buffalo. A wholesale company and a businessman had sought to block the law until the state takes certain actions, including giving tax-exempt coupons to Native American tribes.

Sconiers scheduled a Jan. 27 hearing for state officials to show why she should not issue a permanent injunction against the law.