Deal proposed over Oneida Nation land-into-trust
The Oneida Nation of New York praised a county official for negotiating a deal that would end a land-into-trust dispute.

The tribe agreed to pay $55 million in back taxes to Oneida County and charge the same sales tax as the county. In exchange, the county will drop a lawsuit over the tribe's land-into-trust application

"The Oneida Indian Nation and the County clearly recognize that it is time to forge ahead and together create a better future for Oneida County and the entire region," tribal representative Ray Halbritter said in a statement. "Simply put, it’s time to end the costly legal battles, create more jobs and break apart the gridlock of the past and move forward.”

After County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., a Republican, proposed the deal on Friday, Democrats called it a "surrender." Democrats control 14 of 29 seats in the county legislature.

Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-New York) also criticized the deal. He said the tribe should not be allowed to acquire all 17,000 acres it owns into trust.

“Any settlement that does not address the two key long-term issues - a cap on land the tribe may place in trust and a guaranteed, recurring revenue stream for the state, counties and localities - is not in the best interest of Oneida County,” Arcuri said in a statement.

The deal does not include Madison County, whose leaders are part of the land-into-trust lawsuit.

Get the Story:
Picente details his proposed pact with Oneida Indian Nation (The Oneida Dispatch 5/9)
Oneida County's deal with the Oneidas (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 5/9)
Sales tax compromise key to agreement (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 5/9)

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation and county near land-into-trust deal (5/8)

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