An upstate New York tribe that has clashed with state government over tobacco sales has inked a deal to acquire a cigarette factory, the Associated Press reported Sept. 18.
The Oneida Indian Nation, which sells about $34 million of untaxed cigarettes through tribal stores each year, announced that it is buying Sovereign Tobacco’s factory in Angola, N.Y. The factory produces Niagara and Bishop brand cigarettes, which sell for about half the price of name-brand cigarettes subject to state taxes.
The factory purchase comes after the state legislature passed a law requiring that tobacco manufacturers ensure that wholesalers who buy their products pay the state’s $27.50-per-carton excise tax. Tribes say that they are immune from such taxes and laws.
Sovereign Tobacco sells about 1.4 million cartons of cigarettes annually, mostly through various Native American stores.