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    Petition Asks N.Y. Governor to Collect Taxes from Native American Reservations

    Organized by state associations and retailers, petition looks for non-Native Americans to pay fuel and tobacco taxes, which could generate an estimated $1.1 billion.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 15,400 signatures have been collected from concerned citizens all across upstate New York opposing Governor Paterson’s recent budget proposals.

    Organized by the Tax Fairness Association and the New York State Association of Convenience Stores, along with retailers including Wilson Farms, these petitions have been sent to the Governor’s office along with hundreds of e-mails expressing the disappointment of hard-working citizens for having to shoulder the burden of additional and unfair state taxes, the grassroots group reported.

    At issue is the governor’s refusal to enforce the law by collecting taxes from the sale of tobacco and fuel to non-Native Americans on Native American reservations. Enforcing the current law will generate an estimated $1.1 billion in new revenue per year.

    The campaign was designed to be used in local stores for a four-week period through the middle of June and has received overwhelming support from shoppers throughout the state.

    "We are urging the governor to give serious consideration to these petitions," Daniel Shanahan, vice president and CFO of Wilson Farms, said in a statement. "As a locally owned and operated company, we whole-heartedly support the Tax Fairness Association and the New York State Association of Convenience Stores. The current situation is both detrimental and unfair to our industry and impacting our ability to grow, prosper, and create tax revenue and jobs."

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