SYRACUSE, NY - Cayuga and Seneca counties plan to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn last month's ruling in the counties' cigarette tax dispute with the Cayuga Indians, the Post-Standard reports.
"This action represents a responsibility to protect and defend the economic equality of our business community and the hardworking citizens that we were elected to serve,€™€™ said Robert Shipley, chairman of the Seneca County Indian Affairs committee.
Last month, New York's Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Cayugas, stipulating that the counties could not prosecute the nation for selling tax-free cigarettes to non-Indians because their stores are on qualified reservation land and thus not subject to New York taxes. Additionally, it said that New York lacks a system to collect the tax.
Shipley said that the appeal would rest on the court's determination that the stores lie on reservation land. The counties maintain that the land is not a reservation under federal law.
Daniel French, an attorney representing the nation, said the likelihood of the Supreme Court hearing the appeal is low.
"The Court of Appeals ruled on a matter of New York state tax law, not the kind of issue the Supreme Court is apt to weigh in on,€™€™ French said.