081508seneca.jpgThe Seneca Nation is pressuring Governor Paterson to veto a bill that would tax cigarette sales to non-Indians; officials estimate the tax could generate $400 million in revenue, and Mayor Bloomberg recently said that tax revenue could save us from MTA fare hikes. The tribes argue that treaties dating to the 19th century make them exempt from state sales taxes; greedy white man legislators insist that sales to non-Indians are taxable. The debate is happening against the backdrop of a looming $6.4 billion deficit, and the Sun reports that Paterson could sign the bill as early as next week. But Seneca lawyer Robert Odawi Porter warns that would hurt the tribe's employment of 5,000 people and other economic benefits for western New York: "The state still comes out ahead. It just doesn't go into the Albany trough."