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NY court holds off ruling on Indian cigarette tax

A New York appeals court has held off deciding whether to extend or lift an order blocking the state from collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Native American stores to non-Indian customers.

On Sept. 1, a state appellate judge in Rochester restored a restraining order that barred the state from collecting the $4.35-per-pack tax. The court’s five-judge panel took up the case Thursday but ended the session without saying when a ruling would be issued.

A federal judge in Buffalo has already temporarily blocked tax collections from two Indian nations — the Senecas and Cayugas — and scheduled a hearing for Tuesday. The appellate court order applies to all nine New York tribes battling to preserve their tax-free cigarette business.