A memo sent to members of the New York Association of Convenience Stores from the group’s president, Jim Calvin — a copy of which I have on my desk — said, “I got a call from Gov. Cuomo’s budget office yesterday. In examining cigarette tax receipts so far this fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) it looks like they will fall considerably short of their projection in new revenues. . . .”
The sale of nontaxed smokes by stores on Indian reservations became an issue two years ago when the state cigarette tax was raised significantly and many smokers took more of their business to reservations — or to Internet sellers — whose packs aren’t taxed. Some folks even bought lower-taxed cigs smuggled in from out of state.
The State of New York estimated that taxing Indian reservation cigarette sales at the wholesale level would bring in an additional $130 million. It appears resourceful NY smokers made other plans.