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NY and Senecas due in court on cigarette tax

A New York appeals court is set to consider the Seneca Indian Nation’s latest challenge to New York state’s plans to tax reservation cigarette sales to non-Indian customers.

A hearing before the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court in Rochester is scheduled for today.

The Seneca Nation is appealing a lower court decision rejecting its challenge against regulations adopted by the state Department of Taxation and Finance to enforce the tax on smokeshop sales. The Senecas say the rules weren’t properly adopted.

In the meantime, there’s a temporary order in place barring the state from collecting the $4.35-per-pack tax.

The state says it will bring in much needed new revenue, while Indian nations say it’s a violation of their sovereignty.