Judge Rules Against Cayuga Nation

Oswego, NY – A request by the Cayuga Indian Nation to resume selling tax-free cigarettes has been rejected by a state Supreme Court judge.

The tribe was seeking an injunction barring Cayuga and Seneca counties from enforcing state tax laws regulating cigarette sales.

The nation was forced to stop selling cigarettes after sheriff's deputies in both counties raided 2 of the tribe's convenience stores last month. Police seized more than 17 thousand cartons of cigarettes.

County officials said the stores were violating state law by selling cigarettes without charging the required tax and they owed nearly a half million dollars in state excise taxes. The Cayuga's say the raids took place on sovereign land and were illegal.

In a written statement...the Cayuga's say they "believe that the court's unprecedented decision is squarely at odds with both state and federal law, and the Nation intends to seek review in the appellate courts. In the meantime, the Nation intends to comply with today's decision while it seeks to vindicate its rights on appeal."