AP Photo
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, and Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises at the signing of the historic agreement last year. On March 4, the agreement was finalized by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn.

Oneida Nation and New York Agreement Gets Final Approval

ICTMN Staff
3/6/14

One of the original steps in the process involved consideration by the Department of the Interior of the agreement following its passage within the counties and state. But, the DOI decided there was no need for them to review the agreement, considering there was no change to the original 1993 gaming with the state according to a Capitol Confidential blog.

The agreement gives the Oneidas rights to land, no more than 25,000 acres within the two counties, while halting any lawsuits that may have dealt with this or taxation.

The parties also agreed to the following resolution of other disputes among them:

--The Nation-State Gaming Compact is ratified by the State Legislature;

--No future property taxes would be assessed against Nation lands up to a cap of 25,370 acres;

--Removal of all existing tax liens on Nation properties;

--State agrees the Oneida Reservation  was not disestablished and that the Reservation is reservation land for purposes of state and federal statutes;

--The State and Counties will not oppose certain future trust transfer of Nation land;

--With respect to reacquired land not yet held in trust, the Nation would adopt, in lieu of the laws and regulations generally applicable to non-Nation properties, ordinances that meet or exceed standards that otherwise may govern land use, building codes, zoning, health, safety and environmental matters, and weights and measures;

--The Nation will share 25 percent of its net slot revenues to the state (which will be split between Oneida and Madison counties as well) as a settlement payment for all of the elements of the deal in full resolution of all the disputes among the parties to the Settlement Agreement.

Other provisions of the agreement include:

-- Placing a permanent cap on the amount of land the Oneida Indian Nation can request to have put into trust;

-- Exclusive gaming rights in a 10-county area of central New York;

-- An agreement to impose a sales and excise tax equal to or greater than New York state and counties’ taxes on cigarettes, motor fuel and other items sold by Indian retailers to non-Indian customers and to abide by the state’s minimum pricing standards on cigarettes;

-- A formal Oneida County-Oneida Nation Special Deputization Agreement that will deputize qualified officers of the Oneida Nation Police Department to enforce state laws on Oneida Nation land located in Oneida County, including at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

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