As a citizen of New York, I am writing to express my disappointment with and astonishment at our elected officials for terminating centuries-old treaties protecting the right of New York Nations to sell tax-free tobacco and other goods on their own reservations. I am asking that you immediately rescind this legislative act attacking our Indian friends and neighbors!
New York’s convenience stores and big supermarket chains are behind this effort, targeting these small smoke shops in an attempt to shut them down. It is wrong and unfair because these tribal shops are the only jobs for hundreds of Indians. And many of these shops put money back into their reservations for needed community development, scholarships and after-school programs for Indian children.
The tax dollars the state and the convenience store operators claim they are losing do not compare to the benefits these businesses bring to Indian communities.
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