Dear Governor Paterson,

I strongly urge you to veto the bill that was delivered to you yesterday, that, if passed, will enable the collection of taxes from sovereign nations that lie within our state.

As a life-long New York State resident and tax payer, I fully recognize the hardships that our state is under with budgetary shortfalls and the rising costs of infrastructure. I am already feeling the economic pinch, and certainly expect financial hardships to worsen for myself and my fellow New Yorkers.

I also work for a nonprofit organization focused on improving healthcare for all Americans; I recognize that raising cigarette prices will discourage smoking, thereby improving public health.

That said, I believe there is no end — financial salvation and improved public health included — that justifies a means which expressly violates our treaties with sovereign nations and places unjust taxation on those without representation.

Nothing is more important than the sovereignty of free people. Nothing.

I know that as a servant leader, you have a responsibility to the people of this state, those with voting rights and those without, to do what is right.

Melissa Ann Lee

One of those times when I disagree with my employer. And most of the other people I know, I’m sure.