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State eyes taxing cigarettes sold by Indian tribes

State eyes taxing cigarettes sold by Indian tribes

A deepening deficit has New York officials looking again at collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by I

A deepening deficit has New York officials looking again at collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian tribes to non-Indians.

The issue is also making unlikely allies of cigarette makers and anti-smoking interests who say taxation would limit illegal sales and keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

At stake is what the state, cigarette companies and a leading anti-smoking group say is $400 million or more in annual revenue. That almost equals a proposed midyear cut in school aid.

The Seneca Nation of Indians counters that its sales yield millions more in spinoff economic benefits to communities than the taxes would generate.

A budget hearing Tuesday will also address concerns the tax collections could lead to repeats of violence that marked past confrontations.

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