In the wake of yesterday’s disappointing decision by the United States Federal District Court to deny the rights of local governments and school districts to collect unpaid property taxes on land owned by individual Cayuga Indians, New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assemblyman Brian Kolb have called upon United States Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, as well as area congressmen, to immediately enact the legislation deemed necessary by the federal court.
The Federal court ruled yesterday that counties have the right to impose property taxes on property owned by individuals who claim Indian heritage, but the counties do not have the right to collect those taxes by suing to foreclose on the properties, unless specifically authorized by federal law,” said Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio.
Over the past several years the residents of both Cayuga and Seneca Counties have seen a declining property tax base resulting from the sale of thousands of acres of land to individuals who claim an Indian heritage and who refuse to pay property taxes.
“It is critical that our federal representatives act now and enact legislation to indemnify Cayuga and Seneca Counties and protect taxpayers from individuals who refuse to pay local property taxes,” said Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio.
“The Federal Court has indicated in its decision that federal legislation is needed to correct this inequity. It is therefore critically important that we have the support of our local congressional delegation and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand,” said Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio. “We urge all area residents to contact their federal representatives and ask them to enact this important and necessary legislation,” said Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio.
“As the representatives for Cayuga and Seneca Counties, we are deeply concerned with the negative impact that individual Indian land owners, who refuse to pay their property taxes, are having on the property tax base and all other law abiding citizens who are paying their property taxes,” said Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio.
“It is critically important that we call on our federal representatives in Washington and let them know that their immediate action on this issue is needed and important to the future of our region,” concluded Assemblyman Kolb and Senator Nozzolio.
A virtual tour of the Cayuga Indian land holdings in Seneca Falls, can be found in the panel to the left.