NY Senate Hearings Called on Tax Free Cigarettes Gerstman & Schwartz to Attend

NYS Senate Hearing To Be Convened On Non-Collection of Billions of Tax Dollars From Indian Reservation Cigarette Sales. Industry Advocates Brad Gerstman & David Schwartz to attend hearing

New York State Senator Craig Johnson, Chairman of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Investigations & Government Operations will be holding crucial hearings on the State’s unwillingness to collect taxes from cigarettes sold to Non-Native Americans that originate from sales on Indian Reservations. The hearing will convene on October 27th at Manhattan Community College. Industry advocates and attorneys, Brad Gerstman and David Schwartz of Gotham Government Relations, will be in attendance, representing the Cigarette Tax Agents and many retail outlets in the State of New York.

“The failure to collect this revenue costs the State of New York over a billion dollars every year,” says Gerstman. “The solution of taxing every carton is in place and needs to be executed immediately so that we can help to turn around New York State’s budget crisis.”

The non-collection of cigarette taxes from reservations is an issue that has been brewing for years. Progress seemed imminent after Governor Paterson signed a law in December that was to enforce the collection of these taxes. However, the Governor has not collected this much needed revenue and has failed to enforce the law, and today the estimated revenue being lost yearly has increased dramatically.

“We applaud the Committee and especially the Chairman, Senator Craig Johnson (D-Nassau), for initiating a process that will enable New York State to collect billions of dollars in revenue by bringing this issue to the forefront and for investigating why the executive branch of government has dropped the ball for the last 20 years,” says Schwartz. “In today’s economic climate, the State of New York cannot afford to sit back and watch over a billion dollars of revenue go up in smoke annually.”

The hearing has been set, not only to tackle the issue of the annual revenue loss, but also to confront concerns that a black-market and other criminal activity has emerged as a result.

The hearing will begin 10:30 a.m. at the college’s Richard Harris Terrace Building, 199 Chambers St., New York, NY, and will be live streamed on the Senate’s website, www.nysenate.gov.

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