Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a comprehensive agreement settling multiple, long-standing disputes between the state of New York, the Oneida Nation of Indians, Oneida County and Madison County.
The settlement paves the way to end years of litigation over property tax, land and reservation issues. The agreement would grant the Oneida Nation exclusive rights to casino gaming in Central New York in exchange for sharing a portion of gaming revenues with the state and local governments. In addition, the agreement would end legal disputes over land claims by setting a cap of approximately 25,000 acres on land that could be under the Nation's sovereignty. Further, the agreement will end unfair competition by requiring the Nation to adhere to minimum pricing standards and charge a sales-tax equivalent for cigarette sales to non-Indian customers.
"This is a fair and reasonable agreement that will benefit all parties involved and the people of the Oneida Nation, Oneida and Madison County, and all New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "By working together we have reached an agreement that preserves a zone of exclusivity for casino gaming, while ensuring that gaming revenue is 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 and the State of New York."
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative, said, "Today, sovereign governments came together to begin a new partnership in shared prosperity. 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 has built in the region over the last two decades and in building a new path for the future."