Citing a recent federal court ruling that States have the right to collect sales taxes on Native American lands, New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) continued his fight for the enforcement of a new law he sponsored that requires the State Taxation and Finance Department to collect sales taxes at Native American owned businesses.According to the Federal District Court ruling, the State of Rhode Island acted legally when State Troopers served a search warrant seeking salesrecords at a Native American owned shop and has the right to tax sales of cigarettes on tribal land because the cigarette tax is a tax on tobaccoconsumers, not a tax on the tribe. Judge William E. Smith, who presided over the case, wrote “the tribe (like other retail sellers of cigarettes), acts merely as an agent for the collection of the tax.”“Time and time again Federal Courts have ruled that States have the right to collect sales taxes,” Senator Nozzolio said. “Too many local businesses have been hurt by Native American businesses that are able to avoid paying these taxes. This most recent ruling is further proof that New York can and should be enforcing the law that passed during the last legislative session.”According to the law enacted by the New York State Legislature, the regulations for the tax collection were to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2003. However, the State Department of Taxation and Finance has extended the comment period for residents to review the proposed regulations. With the extension of the comment period, the regulations won’t go into effect until at least Mar. 1, 2004.Senator Nozzolio has distributed petitions throughout his Senate District and has collected thousands of signatures from Finger Lakes Regionconsumers and residents in support of enforcement of the new law.“It is critically important that we move forward to create a fair and competitive environment and level playing field for all businesses in New York State,” Senator Nozzolio continued. “There is still time for residents to sign my petition and contact theState Tax Department to let them know that the citizens of New York support the enforcement of this new law.”The petition for Tax Equality can be signed at Senator Nozzolio’s Web site at www.senatornozzolio.com.Individuals can obtain copies of the proposed regulations by contacting Diane Ohanian, Tax Regulation Specialist, New York State Department ofTaxation and Finance at (518) 457-2254, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org., or U.S. mail at Technical Services Division, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Building 9,Room 160 W.A. Harriman Campus, Albany, New York 12227.Comments, in writing, may be sent to Marilyn M. Kaltenborn, Director, Technical Services Division, at the same address as listed above. Director Kaltenborn may be contacted at (518) 457-1153.