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Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Responds To Critics Of Proposed Deal With Oneida Indian Nation

Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says Governor Cuomo’s proposed deal with the Oneida Indian Nation addresses two of the biggest complaints from his own proposed deal with the tribe, however, detractors of a negotiated settlement still say it’s not enough.

He says the two issues he was criticized most for were not having a cap on the Oneida’s land into trust claims, and no recurring revenue to the county, beyond the initial ten year proposal. Now, Picente says those issues have been taken care of, but some still don’t support the deal.

Picente joined WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning on Thursday to outline his case on why he supports the proposed deal between the Oneida’s, New York State and Oneida and Madison Counties.

Several times during the interview, Picente stressed that ‘not everybody’ would be happy in any negotiated deal.

Highlights of the interview:

  • Governor Cuomo said working an agreement would allow the Oneida’s to ”buy the franchise” in regards to casino gambling operations in Central New York, Picente said. In turn, the state and local governments would finally see a percentage of revenue from those gaming operations
  • Regarding whether the Oneida’s could open a mall and operate without submitting sales taxes – meaning they would sell products cheaper and have a competitive advantage. Picente said, currently the Oneida’s could do just that if they chose to, but under terms of agreement, they would have to charge sales tax and sell products at a competitively price.
  • For a clarification on the same issue, Picente says while the Oneida’s would charge and collect sales taxes, they would actually keep that revenue and not submit it to state or local governments.
  • Making VVS whole: Oneida County taxpayers foot the bill for some of the lost property taxes in the western part of the county. The county reimburses those governments, like the VVS school district, for property taxes that the Oneida’s don’t pay. Picente said that for VVS, the county guarantees $400,000 for those lost taxes
  • Oneida County would see annual payments of $15 million dollars for 20 years – $2.5 million of which would cover back tax payments. After 20 years, the Oneida’s pay Oneida County $12.5 million for their share of gaming revenue.

Full Interview From WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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