Albany, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today the sweeping settlement ratified last week in federal court will end "centuries of disputes" between the state and Oneida Indian Nation.
"Two hundred years of conflict is too long," Cuomo said in a conference call today with reporters. "The uncertainty and the acrimony was preventing economic development in Central New York, and we couldn't allow it to go on any longer."
The agreement reached in May took effect last week with ratification by a federal judge. The settlement ends decades of legal battles between the Oneidas, the state, and Madison and Oneida counties. It also gives the Oneidas a monopoly on casinos in a nine-county region of Central New York, and for the first time since Turning Stone opened in 1993 requires the Oneidas to share their profits with the state and counties.
Oneida nation leader Ray Halbritter said the agreement brings a "new era" of cooperation between the Oneidas, state and counties.
"It enshrines the shared vision we all have for the future of the region," he said.
The Oneidas on Monday paid $11 million to the state, the first installment required by the settlement. All of that money will be transferred to Madison County on April 1, said Board of Supervisors Chairman John Becker. The money will settle all disputes over taxes between the county and the Oneidas.
The Oneidas will also pay the state 25 percent of revenues from the slot machines at Turning Stone casino. Cuomo said he is still projecting $50 million a year from the slots, to be paid to the state quarterly beginning in April.
Oneida nation leader Ray Halbritter said today that number could be even higher after the nation last week spent $15 million to install cash-operated slot machines and launched new player reward programs.
"Hopefully it will mean the state will receive more, and so will we," Halbritter said.
Madison County will get $3.5 million a year. Oneida County will get $2.5 million a year plus 25 percent of the money the nation pays to the state. All of this money comes from the money paid by the Oneidas to the state.
Eight other counties will receive a combined $5 million a year from the nation payment. Half of that goes to Onondaga County, where County Executive Joanie Mahoney plans to use the money to pay for a proposed amphitheater near Onondaga Lake.
The wide-ranging settlement allows the nation to have up to 25,000 acres of land set aside by the federal government for the tribe's use. That trust land is not taxable and is not subject to state or local control.
See ....Even our Governor AGREES with ME!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Madison County gets an instant check of 11 million for any and all loss of taxes....While Kyle and Bluezone still bellyache about the 1 million owed by the Cayugas..... SEE.....COMPROMISE! If you weren't always suing them or trying to shut down their businesses maybe they would compromise!
So long all great and powerful Sherrill Ruling that was NEVER enforced! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
Spiritual people INSPIRE me Religious people FRIGHTEN me