In response to the Cayuga Indian Nation’s recent purchase of yet another parcel of land in Seneca Falls, State Senator Mike Nozzolio is calling on the area's federal representatives, officials at the United States Department of the Interior and the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to visit Cayuga and Seneca Counties and see for themselves the amount of land that the Cayuga's have purchased. If all of the land that has been purchased by the Cayuga Indian Nation is granted trust status it will destroy the tax base of Cayuga and Seneca Counties.
In letters to United States Congressman Michael Arcuri, United States Senators Kirstin Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael Black and Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs Larry Ecohawk, Senator Nozzolio has demanded that they come to Cayuga and Seneca County to meet with property owners and businesses who will be directly impacted if the Trust Application is approved.
“With their recent purchase of another property in Seneca Falls, the Cayuga Nation now owns 29 parcels of land in the town of Seneca Falls. If the Cayuga Indian Nation’s application for Trust Status is granted, Cayuga and Seneca County will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and the taxpayers of these two counties will be forced to assume the tax consequences of this action,” said Senator Nozzolio. “It is not possible for Washington bureaucrats living hundreds of miles away to make fair and appropriate decisions which affect the lives of our citizens. Before any decisions are made, I am demanding that our representatives in Congress and at the Department of the Interior come and meet firsthand with the residents who are deeply concerned that they will lose their homes and all they have worked for.”
Over the past several years, Seneca and Cayuga Counties have already seen the negative impact resulting from the sale of hundreds of acres of land to individuals who later disclosed that they were actually agents of the Cayuga Indian Nation. The Cayugas opened gas stations, convenience stores and other local businesses that drained local sales tax revenues sorely needed in this struggling economy.
In addition to contacting officials in Washington, Senator Nozzolio has also started an online petition calling on Congressman Arcuri and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to demand that the federal government deny the Cayugas’ land claim application. Hundreds of local residents have already signed the petition which is accessible at www.SenatorNozzolio.com.
“As a resident of Seneca County with my home in the Indian land claim area, I am appalled that the federal government continues to uphold the demands of the Cayuga Indian Nation over the rights of residents in our region,” said Senator Nozzolio. “We must continue to keep the pressure on our federal representatives in Washington and let them know that this is not acceptable !”
“The stakes have never been higher – the more land in our community the Cayuga Nation grabs, the more devastating the impact will be on generations to come if they are granted trust status,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.