UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente outlined the consequences if the Board of Legislators does not approve the settlement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Oneida Indian Nation.
According to a memo from the county executive to the legislators, there are a series of negative impacts if the plan is not approved. The memo says the plan would move forward as is, just without the participation of Oneida County.
Picente said, "The status quo as we have known it is no longer an option."
The plan developed between the State of New York and the Oneida Indian Nation, with the involvement of Oneida and Madison Counties.
Picente outlined the following consequences for rejecting the deal:
1. The State will proceed with an revised agreement that will not include the County of Oneida. There will be no annual “host county” payment to Oneida County of 25% of the Nation Payment (at the present time this is $12.5 million, but this number will likely grow each year) and there will be no payment for the County’s tax liens ( $2.5 million annually for 19 1/4 years).
2. There will be no land cap, as the amount of land in trust is not an issue for the state. Thus, the Nation would be able to apply to place an unlimited amount of land in trust over the future years.
3. The State will change state law to clarify that all land within the historic reservation will be deemed a reservation for purposes of state statutes. Therefore, the land will be exempt from future real property taxation. Our tax liens will be unenforceable.
4. The State will dismiss their claims in the trust litigation.
5. The State will move to cease the funding of the County’s legal fees for the trust litigation, the federal tax foreclosure litigation and the state tax litigation (approximately $1million annually).
6. The County will lose gross sales tax of approximately $3 million, and it will be clarified that the County will not collect any other sales tax.
7. The County will lose bed tax of approximately $400,000.
8. The County will lose the state benefit of $1.5 million which is the current amount of state aid for lost taxes.