ALBANY -The Enforce the Law — Collect the Tax Coalition held a press conference Tuesday, calling for the collection of nearly $1 billion in revenue from uncollected cigarette taxes.

The excise, county and state sales taxes are not collected on cigarettes sold by Native American tribes at their convenience
stores, even though state law requires the collection.

Among those speaking at the press conference was Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-129 of Canandaigua. “This morning, I proudly stand with members of the Enforce the Law — Collect the Tax Coalition and state officials from both political parties to again call on New York to move forward in collecting hundreds of millions in revenues being lost through cigarette and gasoline sales on Native American land to non-Indians,” Kolb said in a statement Tuesday. “The collection of these taxes must be a top priority before this legislative session concludes. Albany cannot be allowed to put it off for another year.”

He said the time for further delay or additional review is over. “It’s time to enforce the law and collect the taxes,” he said. The coalition has unveiled a tax loss calculator, based on a report by the New York Association of Convenience Stores, that
indicates the state loses $1,900 every minute the law is not nforced and the tax on cigarettes sold to non-Indians is not collected. The coalition said the revenue is needed more than ever with the state facing a $850 million shortfall in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“Before our leaders in Albany close parks, cut schools, raise taxes or borrow billions, they should enforce the laws on the books and collect the sales taxes,” said James Calvin, president of the convenience store association