Perhaps in hopes of increasing the state's revenue a bit more, Bloomberg says Paterson needs to "cowboy up" when it comes to cigarette taxes, and fight Indian reservations who continue to sell smokes tax-free. Though one Indian chief previously said enforcement would be considered an act of war, Bloomberg ignored the threat (and political correctness) on his radio show, saying, “I said to David Paterson, I said, ‘You know, get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun. If there’s ever a great video it’s you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying you know read my lips, the law of the land is this and we're going to enforce the law.'" The statement didn't sit too well with some tribes.
The state is planning a September 1st crackdown of the Nation's sales of untaxed cigarettes, but Seneca Nation of Indians president Barry Snyder Sr. said, "Mayor Bloomberg has made some reckless and insensitive statements to the people of the Seneca Nation, all Native Americans living in New York State and throughout the country." The Seneca Nation has been involved in an ongoing court battle with the federal government regarding cigarette sales, but they and other nations are standing their ground on the issue. The Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Mark Emery said, "None of New York's previous efforts to impose taxes on sovereign Indian nations have ever succeeded, and there is no reason to believe this latest effort will succeed either."
Last month, the Tax Department said Paterson put a freeze on the budget for enforcement operations, and backed down on his promise to force tribes to pay the new tax. Maybe Bloomberg needs to head up to Albany to show Paterson how running a Nanny State is really done.