Here’s a blogster’s report on the NY tobacco tax controversy that is seriously heating up.
Apparently, NY Governor Paterson reiterated yesterday his intent to collect taxes on cigarettes sold to non-natives at Indian-owned stores. He worried openly on WOR Radio about the possible repercussions.
The blog writes in part: “The warning signs are there. Members of the Seneca Nation protested and burned tires to fend off the tax collection in 1992 and 1997, closing the New York State Thruway both times.
A blog called Seneca Voice urged Seneca Nation members to “start setting up some fires here and there just to let the public know that we are serious and we are ready to battle.” . . .
[NY] Mayor Michael Bloomberg inflamed the situation when he urged Paterson to “get a cowboy hat and a shotgun” to enforce the tax collection.
Tribes statewide, and native groups around the country, were outraged, calling the comments “racist, offensive and hurtful.” They said it would be like conjuring the spectre of Hitler to Jews, or the KKK to African-Americans. Paterson called the comments “inappropriate”.
Bloomberg didn’t even apologize. . . . “