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Nozzolio: Cayuga Nation robbing local taxpayers

2014-01-05T06:00:00Z 2014-01-06T17:59:11Z Nozzolio: Cayuga Nation robbing local taxpayersMichael Nozzolio Auburn Citizen
January 05, 2014 6:00 am  • 

The recent Auburn Citizen editorial criticizing the Cayuga Indians for re-opening a gambling casino in the village of Union Springs was right on target. But unfortunately, the refusal of the Cayuga Indians to pay their property taxes presents an even greater, and much more pervasive problem for the citizens of Cayuga and Seneca Counties.

By refusing to pay their fair share of property taxes on the properties that the Cayuga Indians purchased from individual homeowners and local businesses, the Cayugas are robbing the taxpayers of Cayuga and Seneca Counties of nearly $1.7 million in unpaid property taxes. And worse yet, this financial burden is growing each year.

The only thing worse than taxation is taxation administered unfairly. This inequity forces the hardworking taxpayers in both counties to make up the difference in tax revenue. The Cayugas knew full well when they purchased the property that they were under the same obligation you and I have to pay our property taxes.

Their refusal to pay their fair share of property taxes hurts our school children, as well as the small businesses in our communities that cannot compete with Cayuga owned businesses that pay no property or sales taxes, and who refuse to obey the same laws and regulations as their neighbors. In fact, a number of local gas stations and convenience stores have been forced to close because of the continued refusal of the Cayugas to follow the law and compete on a level playing field.

As highlighted in last week's Citizen editorial, the Cayugas currently have a land-into-trust application pending before the United States Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. .

If the Cayugas are granted land-into-trust status they will be allowed to occupy, develop and reap the financial rewards from land in Cayuga and Seneca Counties without having to obey virtually any local, state and federal laws regulating the size, scope and construction of building projects. Additionally, property taxes could never be collected from property that has been granted land-in-trust status and the Cayuga Indians would not have to comply with the same environmental regulations as other local property owners.

The stakes have never been higher – the more land in our community that the Cayugas purchase and then refuse to pay taxes on - the more devastating the financial impact will be on generations to come.

If the land that has been purchased by the Cayuga Indians is granted land-into-trust status, it will significantly erode, and eventually destroy the tax base of Cayuga and Seneca Counties. As your New York State Senator, I will continue my efforts to oppose these unfair and ill-conceived policies. Please join me in demanding that the Cayugas pay their property taxes now. Please contact your federal representatives in Washington, as well as officials at the United States Department of the Interior and demand that they deny the Cayugas land-into-trust application. The future of our property tax base in Cayuga and Seneca Counties, as well as the future of our taxpayers hangs in the balance.

Nozzolio is a New York state senator who represents parts of Cayuga County

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(4) Comments

  1. Tom
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    Tom - January 06, 2014 10:50 am
    Oh, c'mon Karl. You know the only reason you hear from the guy is because he's up for reelection.
    Going after the Cayuga's is tradition to drum up votes. It's just his usual "blah, blah, blah" and then he'll shut up about it for another 2 years.
    Going after the CEO's and bankers is shooting his campaign financing in the foot.

  2. patchwork
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    patchwork - January 05, 2014 8:29 pm
    Bingo! Maybe the good senator could explain how handing a million dollars of taxpayers' money to a new hotel for fixtures and furniture is good for competing hotels and restaurants and while those competing businesses are also paying an increasing property tax bill. Yup, the good ole boys can give out taxpayer dollars with no accountability and tax deals get handed out like candy to undeserving retail and residential projects and not only is it okay, politicians trip over themselves trying to get into the ribbon cutting photo-ops. Now this senator has the audacity to condemn the Cayuga Indians? Seriously? Guess what Mr Senator, I would guess that the Indians have a higher success rate of following thru on promises and most likely a higher approval rating that most NYS senators.
  3. CoryD
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    CoryD - January 05, 2014 4:44 pm
    So, the Cayugas purchasing properties and getting it put into trust will destroy the tax base in Cayuga county, but PILOT programs that don't create jobs and steal business from other tax paying local businesses are good for the area?

    Sounds to me that the people in our government are only willing to defend the white, wealthy "job creators" and not the minorities who are trying to do the same thing.

    go pound sand, Senator.
  4. liberal karl
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    liberal karl - January 05, 2014 8:52 am
    Boy, call me cynical, but I wonder why Senator Nozzolio isn't writing letters about the Wall Street banker-barons who have rigged the system so that the elitist Rich CEOs and bank owners don't have to pay taxes in the same amount/proportions as do hard-working Americans?
    "The only thing worse than taxation is taxation administered unfairly."--(snicker). Hey, Senator; instead of picking on an easy target, why don't ya put your money where your mouth is and go after the REAL CRIMINALS?!
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