N.Y. Battles Tax-Free Cigarette Outlets

Yee, Nicole
January 2006
Convenience Store News;1/16/2006, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p16
Trade Publication
The article focuses on a new study which discovered that 71 percent of New York smokers buy their cigarettes all or some of the time from outlets which are often Native American retailers. The staggering figure dwarfs other regions of the state, notably New York City, where just one-quarter of all smokers regularly seek out cigarettes with little or no taxes. The report for the state Department of Health is the first study to compare regions of the state and their tax-free cigarette-buying ways. Native American merchants defend their tax-free sales by claiming protection from the taxation by treaty rights that are more than 200 years old. Michael Newman, executive vice-president of NOCO Express, operating 33 stores in Buffalo and Rochester, New York, believes that tax-free outlets are responsible for a loss of more than $1 million in cigarette sales at NOCO's Tonawanda, New York-based stores.


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