February 7, 2012 - CigarettesReviews.com | CigarettesReviews.com

Daily Archives: February 7, 2012

Lawmakers put off vote on Indian Affairs nominee

Nominal Governor Susana Martinez to head the Department of Indian Affairs is under scrutiny from lawmakers about possible illegal sales of cigarettes in a store managed by the family office secretary.

The Senate Rules Committee agreed Monday to temporarily postpone a vote on approval of the Secretary of Indian Affairs, Arthur Ellison, because questions about the sale of untaxed cigarettes in a store Star Ranch, located near Farmington on the Navajo Nation. We are talking about selling non-Indians of cigarettes without taxes in New Mexico and selling certain cigarettes, Attorney General’s office argues, is prohibited in New Mexico. Martinez appointed Allison last year to run the agency. He is the first Navajo appointed to the cabinet-level job. Allison said that the committee, he applied for a job shop, his son and does not receive compensation from him. “I take no profit from it. I’m not a member of management,” said Ellison, who described himself as a “passive member” of the Partnership, which owns the gasoline and shop. Nevertheless, Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, has repeatedly asked Allison about his financial stake in a shop and said that it is possible for “passive member”, to be eligible for the money partnership. Wirth said that the state financial disclosure reports Allison shops listed under the category of “other business interests in New Mexico at $ 10,000 or more.” Ellison said he turned to the store because the sales volume of more than $ 10,000.

At the request of legislators, Ellison said he will give the committee a copy of the operating agreement to the store. Wirth said he would shed light on whether Allison continues to have a financial interest in the store, possibly violated state law.

Wirth and Senate President Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, said the committee should decide on the participation of stores and Ellison, to avoid potential confirmation fight in the Senate. Allison should get away from the $ 87,000 a year public service, if the Senate rejected his nomination.

“I do not want to do anything that hurts the reputation Mr. Ellison,” said Wirth.
Jennings said: “I do not think anyone questions his honesty.”

However, some committee members expressed concern that the unregulated sale of cigarettes a certain sires can put New Mexico at the risk of losing some of the more than $ 35 million the state receives each year to 1998 national agreements with major companies of tobacco.

The Committee plans to resume in the category view of Ellison environment and wants to hear from the office of general counsel, who sent a letter to the governor’s office in May last year, said the administration, the sale of cigarettes in a store Allison violate the law of the state and that Ellison is “aiding and abetting in the sale of contraband.” A month later, a reporter for the Associated Press was still able to buy the Seneca brand cigarettes without state tax stamps.

Allison told the committee he doesn’t know whether the store continued to sell Seneca cigarettes.

The Canadian-based manufacturer of the Seneca brand, Grand River Enterprises, is not certified to sell its products in New Mexico, according King’s office. However, the company has sued New Mexico and the attorney general, claiming that the state can not prohibit the sale of Seneca cigarettes and other tribal lands. The company is positioning itself as the largest producer of Native Americans has made tobacco products in North America.

Under a 2010 law, New Mexico increased its tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a package to a total of $1.66. However, the state agreed to give tribal retailers a price advantage by exempting them from 91 cents of the New Mexico tax if a tribe or pueblo levied its own tax of at least 75 cents.

Allison said the Navajo Nation charges a tax on cigarettes. However, the tribal government is not certified for the state, the tax meets the requirements of the law in 2010, according to the spokesman of the Department of Taxation and revenue.