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Most in state oppose tax on Indian-sold goods

New York voters oppose efforts by state lawmakers to tax goods sold by the Seneca Nation of Indians, according to a new statewide poll.

The poll, conducted by Zogby International on behalf of the Senecas, found 78 percent of those surveyed think the state and federal government should honor their 1842 treaty banning the taxation of Seneca businesses.

The survey of 902 likely voters from across the state found strong opposition to the idea of taxing Seneca products among a wide range of people -- Republicans and Democrats, upstaters and downstaters, men and women.

About two out of three New Yorkers support Gov. George E. Pataki's decision to withdraw proposed regulations that would impose taxes on goods sold on Indian reservations.

A similar percentage of voters, about 65 percent, are opposed to the idea that New York State should collect sales taxes on products sold on Indian reservations.

The poll also found 73 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Indian business people compared with 50 percent for Pataki and 44 percent for legislators.

The poll, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent, was conducted Feb. 20-24.


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