Apr 8/97: Update: Seneca/Mohawk resistance to NY taxes


- from http://biz.yahoo.com/upi/97/04/08/general_news/ustaxdeath_1.html

Tuesday April 8, 10:16 PM EDT

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. We support the tax resisters and disagree with the police version of who is accountable for James Spoon's death.]

BUFFALO, N.Y., April 8 (UPI) -- An elderly Forestville man has died in a traffic accident connected with sales tax protests on Indian reservations in Western New York State.

Police say 60-year-old James Spoon was killed Tuesday after his pick- up truck slammed into the rear of a dump truck on the roadway of routes 17, 20 and the New York State Thruway.

Spoon's truck burst into flames upon striking the other vehicle.

State troopers had stopped traffic on the east-bound lane of the Southern Tier Expressway to clear away debris and to extinguish a tire fire on reservation land next to the road.

Tires have been burning since last week to protest new regulations requiring Indians to pay state sales tax on cigarettes and gasoline sold to non-Indians on reservation land.

A spokeswoman, State Trooper Charlene Mahoney, calls the tire-burning protests "senseless" and "a grave danger to the health of the Native American community and to the motoring public."

The Seneca Nation in Western New York and the Mohawks in the North are the only tribes who still refuse to pay the state tax. All other tribes have signed an agreement with the state.

Over the past several days New York State Taxation and Finance police have stopped gasoline and oil trucks from entering reservation land. Police say fuel customers who refuse to charge state tax on their own sales cannot be served the oil and gas.

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