Legislators update taxpayers on Cayuga Indians

To: All taxpayers in Seneca and Cayuga Counties: This letter is provide you with important and updated information on the status of the Cayuga Indian’s attempts to establish an Indian reservation in Seneca and Cayuga Counties as well as the State of New York’s attempt to collect sales tax revenue from the Cayugas. In addition to the enclosed Question and Answer sheets, we wanted to give you the most current information that we have. 1. We are continuing our fight to force New York State to collect the sales tax on the sales of goods sold by the Cayugas to non-Indians. The first step in this process was to enact the law to require the collection of these taxes. Although legislation was first signed into law in 2005, Governors Pataki, Spitzer and Paterson all refused to enforce the law. Since that time, the law has been amended twice in order to make the collection of these sales taxes easier and more efficient. Governor Andrew Cuomo now appears prepared to take on this issue and force the collection of these taxes. We were also successful in securing the collection of these taxes in the newly enacted New York State budget.2. We secured an agreement from Governor Andrew Cuomo to meet with a delegation of elected officials from Seneca and Cayuga counties to discuss issues related to the collection of New York state taxes from the Cayugas and other related issues. We are awaiting a final date and confirmation from the Governor’s office.3. We recently convened a meeting with the respective District Attorneys, Sheriffs and other law enforcement personnel from Seneca and Cayuga counties to discuss the appropriate procedures necessary for the enforcement of local and State laws as they pertain to the Cayuga Indians.4. We have drafted and introduced legislation in the New York State Senate and Assembly to clarify the definition of state tax laws and qualified reservation status as it pertains to the Cayugas. This will ensure that the Cayuga Indians cannot sell goods tax-free on land where they do not have sovereign control.5. We have also introduced legislation to re-establish the requirement that the Legislature must approve all Indian agreements with the State. This legislative authority was removed as a part of last year’s New York City dominated State Legislature.6. We are currently reviewing New York State Finance law with regard to state contracts and the applicability of the statute that prevents individuals with outstanding tax liens to engage in the state contract bid process.We implore you to continue, as we have, to ask our federal representatives for help in this battle. We will continue to do everything we can to support the property owners of Seneca and Cayuga counties and look forward to working with you on this critically important issue.With best wishes.Sincerely,Michael F. NozzolioSenator, 54th District Brian M. KolbAssemblyman, 129th DistrictGary D. FinchAssemblyman, 123rd District

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