The state, the Oneida Nation of Indians, Oneida County and Madison County finally reach to an agreement
The Governor for New York, Andrew Cuomo, has agreed a settlement that could end a series of long-running disputes between the state, the Oneida Nation of Indians, Oneida County and Madison County.
The deal agreed on Wednesday should conclude years of litigation over property taxes along with land and reservation issues and would grant the Oneida Nation of Indians exclusive rights to operate land-based casino gaming in central New York in exchange for agreeing to share a portion of the revenues with the state and local governments.
The agreement would also clarify land claims by establishing a cap of approximately 25,000 acres on territory that could be under the sovereignty of the Oneida Nation of Indians and is to require the aboriginal band to end unfair competition by adhering to minimum pricing standards and charging a sales-tax equivalent for cigarette sold to non-Indian customers.
“This is a fair and reasonable agreement that will benefit all parties involved and the people of the Oneida Nation of Indians, Oneida County and Madison County and all New Yorkers,” said Cuomo.
“By working together we have reached an agreement that preserves a zone of exclusivity for casino gaming while ensuring that gaming revenues are shared with local and state governments. The agreement also ends years of expensive and disruptive court battles for all parties involved and marks a new era of collaboration and commonality between the Oneida Nation of Indians and the state of New York.”
New York and the Oneida Nation of Indians have had ongoing disputes since 1795 and have been in litigation since 1970. Portions of the deal will now be sent to the New York State Legislative, Department of the Interior, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Madison County and Oneida County for approvals.
“Today, sovereign governments came together to begin a new partnership in shared prosperity,” said Ray Halbritter, a representative for the Oneida Nation of Indians.
“As a result of Governor Cuomo's focus, integrity and willingness to negotiate a fair agreement, we are able to begin this new chapter in our nation's history. This agreement is recognition that the state and counties see a value in supporting, strengthening and expanding what the Oneida Nation of Indians has built in the region over the last two decades and in building a new path for the future.”