Editorial: BIA falls short on Cayuga land-into-trust
"The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Cayuga Indian Nation's of New York's application for trust status on roughly 130 acres of local land is woefully inadequate. The report, which was the subject of a public hearing in Seneca Falls last week, is remarkable for the amount of detail it provides without actually touching on the most important information.

The massive document arrives at the conclusion that trust status for the tribe's land, which would make those properties exempt from local and state tax laws, would have a negligible impact on the local economy. In fact, it attempts to make the argument that the economy would expands by millions of dollars if the application is approved.

Amazingly, that conclusion comes with no analysis on how the Cayugas' ability to operate businesses without being subject to taxes or regulations would impact neighboring businesses. We already know the answer to that because we've seen retailers struggle in the past when the tribe was disregarding tax laws.

No where does the BIA report assess how much revenue competing businesses would lose, and how that would affect jobs as well as the local sales tax revenue streams that governments need to balance their budgets and provide services to taxpaying residents."

Get the Story:
Our View: BIA report neglects crucial sales tax impact (The Auburn Citizen 6/21)

Also Today:
Gov. Paterson's spokesman says state won't pay costs of Indian nation cigarette tax raids by Cayuga, Seneca counties (The Syracuse Post-Standard 6/20)

Related Stories:
Big turnout for Cayuga Nation land-into-trust (6/18)
BIA holds meeting on Cayuga Nation land-into-trust (6/17)