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SENECA FALLS -- The Cayuga Indian Nation intends to show state lawmakers not all of their constituents support the state collecting taxes on goods sold at Native American stores, reported the Finger Lakes (N.Y.) Times. Sen. Michael Nozzolio announced a petition drive for tax equality on Wednesday, and now the Nation has put out its own petitions at its two Lake Side Trading gas stations/convenience stores in Seneca Falls and Union Springs.
"The gist of our petition is opposition to the collection of taxes on Iroquois land," said Nation Representative Clint Halftown. He explained Nozzolio is claiming all of his constituents support having the state collect taxes on cigarettes, gasoline and other items sold at Indian stores. "Our goal is to show that he does not have the support of all of his constituents," Halftown said.
The Cayuga Nation petition features the Iroquois Confederacy wampum belt symbol, known as Hiawatha's belt, with the word "tax" in the middle circled with a slash through it, similar to other anti-issue signs.
"I want the choice," the petition says with signers noting they are against the Nation having to pay an unfair amount of tax levied on tobacco products in New York and the illegal taxation of Native Americans. The petition also promotes choice on whether to smoke, where to shop and to have state legislators represent the Iroquois and honor past treaties, according to the news report.