Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sales Tax & Senecas

The Post-Journal reports today that the Appellate Division (The Jamestown Lawyer guesses Fourth Department, but it's not specified in the article) ruled the State cannot collect sales taxes on non-Native reservation purchases.

Being a court decision, of course, the very broad and final-sounding sentence above is not entirely true, although that's what people are reacting to.

What the court actually ruled was that the Supreme Court ruled correctly that, under the existing tax law, the proper steps were not taken to create the necessary mechanism to collect taxes. The law required certain steps to exempt Native purchasers and clarify the process, which were never done.

Based on the failure to follow process, the State can't collect taxes. It isn't a final decision on "ever or never," although that's how the pundits spin such topics to get radio listeners and editorial readers up in arms.

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