By: David L. Shaw
SENECA FALLS — The state Senate’s 2014-15 budget resolution includes $3 million to reimburse Seneca and Cayuga counties for unpaid Cayuga Indian Nation property taxes.
The Senate budget resolution calls for $1.5 million for each county.
The state Assembly budget resolution passed March 12 does not include the funds, nor does Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal.
All three budgets will now be considered in negotiations for a consensus budget, due April 1.
The money would compensate the two counties for unpaid school, town, village and county property taxes on land owned by individual Cayuga Nation members.
“Each and every year, local taxpayers are forced to shoulder an unfair and increasingly costly financial burden because the Cayuga Indians refuse to pay their property taxes on nearly 1,200 acres of land purchased in the two counties,’’ Nozzolio said.
The only land the Cayuga Nation pays taxes on is the 129 acres it has applied to put into federal, tax-exempt trust.
“It is critical that we take the necessary steps to protect our taxpayers from this unfair situation, and I am hopeful that Gov. Cuomo and the state Assembly will include this important funding in the final 2014-15 state budget,’’ Nozzolio added.
Seneca and Cayuga counties had asked local state lawmakers to put the reimbursement in the budget, as the state has done for Oneida and Madison counties since 2008.