Indians in New York, upset with Governor Paterson's attempt to tax cigarettes on Indian reservation, held protests and rallies yesterday. The Post reports that they are on...the "warpath: "Dozens of Native Americans -- including one brandishing a sign showing Paterson, a handgun and the words "I'm Hunting Indians. You See Any?" -- rallied on the side of the Thruway yesterday to protest the governor's plan to tax cigarettes on Indian reservations."
One speaker said, "Watch for what we're ready to do. Watch for the other side of the sword, that's all I'm saying. Nobody's going to get hurt unless you try to keep us [Indians] from enforcing our laws." But Paterson, who proposed the tax because NY State desperately needs money, claims, “We are not going on Indian nation land. What we are doing is forcing the wholesalers to pay the tax upfront. Now either they have to get that money from anyone who would buy their cigarettes or we would have what we’ve been having for decades, an unfair competitive advantage.” Of course, the wholesalers who pay the tax expect to be reimbursed by the Indian tribes.