Monday, September 21, 2009

Smoking Paterson

Now that it's apparently open season on David Paterson-with even the president hurling him under the bus-it seems to us that it is the right time to attempt to force the governor's hand on the non-enforcement of the sale of cigarettes by Indian retailers. The NY Daily News agrees: "New York's abject failure to enforce cigarette tax laws has cost the state and city billions in lost revenues and spawned criminal enterprises to rival the worst crack gangs. Thanks to the sufferance of Govs. Cuomo, Pataki, Spitzer and Paterson, the state's Indian reservations became enormous hubs for trafficking untaxed cigarettes. Four reservation stores supplied one of every seven packs sold in New York in 2007, according to The Associated Press."

AS we have commented so many times before, the failure to go after this uncollected revenue-in the worst fiscal crisis in the past thirty years, no less-is simple jaw dropping in its fecklessness: "Governors have shied from enforcement for fear of riling the tribes. In marked contrast, Mayor Bloomberg sued to force the Indians to comply with the laws. He appears to be making headway - no thanks to Morrison's enablers in Albany."

We are now looking for the state senate to take more forceful action-and device an enforcement methodology that will, once and for all, close this bogus loophole for good. With the lamest of ducks unable to even quack on this issue, it's high time for others to act in loco parentis on this shameful episode in state governance.