Thursday, May 03, 2007

Loophole used to ship tax-free cigarettes closed

The Buffalo News

Untaxed internet tobacco sales went up in smoke........maybe the upstate tribes will start making up Anti Cuomo signs like they did for Spitzer...........andy

New York’s attorney general has closed another loophole that local Indian tobacco merchants have been using to ship tax-free cigarettes over the Internet.
Andrew M. Cuomo, continuing an investigation that predecessor Eliot L. Spitzer began last year, announced an agreement Wednesday with a Long Island firm that had been processing checks and electronic payments for at least 10 Indian tobacco merchants.
Nine of the 10 Indian smoke shops that had been using the service were from Western New York.
Creative Cash Flow Solutions, of Amityville, announced it will no longer provide services to those who sell tax-free cigarettes over the Internet.
Cuomo said the company agreed to immediately stop processing payments once its executives were told the payments violated state law.
Spitzer, when he was state attorney general, had reached agreements with credit card companies, getting them to stop allowing customers across the country to use credit cards to buy tax-free cigarettes.
Cuomo said that Creative Cash Flow Solutions had filled the credit card void for Indian tobacco sellers.
A check of Indian tobacco Web sites Wednesday showed that some of the retailers who once used credit cards had switched to electronic payments.
A Cuomo spokesman identified the 10 retail cigarette sellers using the Long Island firm’s processing as:
My Choice Tobacco, Williamsville; Phat Smokes, Salamanca; Drive Through Smokeshop, Lewiston; All American Tobacco, Salamanca; Peace Pipe Cigarettes, Mastic; Seneca Stars Cigs, Salamanca; Highlander Discount Cigs, Salamanca; Smoke Signals, Salamanca; Buy Cheap Cigarettes, Brant; and OT Direct, Salamanca.

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