Press-Republican

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June 14, 2011

Mohawks to snub tax collection

(Continued)

AKWESASNE —

Losing that portion of the lucrative cigarette trade could force some stores out of business.

VOUCHERS

The other alternative is that Akwesasne retailers would issue vouchers to their Indian customers, who are exempt from paying all state and federal taxes.

Those customers would send their coupon in to the state for reimbursement of the state tax.

Akwesasne store owners say the 119,000 vouchers per quarter allotted to Akwesasne may not be enough for the demand and that they, as tribal retailers, do not want to be tax-collecting agents for the state against their own people.

"Regardless of which system we are talking about, neither is satisfactory," Tribal Chief Mark Garrow said in the Indian Time article.

If the tribe does not choose an option from the two, the law states that its retailers will automatically be set up on the coupon-allotment system.

Retailers at Akwesasne have said that if the state-tax collection is implemented, they would no longer sell national-brand cigarettes.

Email Denise A. Raymo at: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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