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News stories tagged with "oneida"

The Turning Stone casino floor. Photo: Oneida Nation
The Turning Stone casino floor. Photo: Oneida Nation

Oneida Nation makes "responsible gaming" pledge

The Oneida Nation in central New York says it's promising to reinvest much of its revenues from its hugely successful Turning Stone casino in the local economy. That vow comes with New York poised to legalize non-native owned casinos.  Go to full article

Tribes on cigarette tax

Indian tribes are banding together to fight New York's attempt to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores. Billed as an historic gathering of the six nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy, chiefs from the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora Nations met outside Rochester today.

In a joint statement, they called New York "a foreign nation". And they called the Paterson Administration's move to collect cigarette taxes on reservations "an effort to erode our sovereignty."

The meeting comes a day after the Seneca Nation sued New York in U.S. District Court to block the tax collection.

Paterson says the taxes would bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the cash-strapped state. The tax collection is scheduled to begin on September 1st.

The last time New York tried to collect the tobacco taxes on native lands, members of the Seneca Nation burned tires on the New York State Thruway, shutting down New York's main east-west highway.  Go to full article
Mike Hennessey (D-Sherill)
Mike Hennessey (D-Sherill)

Oneida Democrat seeks to unseat Griffo

A three-term Oneida County legislator wants to unseat Republican State Senator Joe Griffo. Democrat Mike Hennessey lives in the city of Sherill, which has been embroiled in land claim and cigarette tax issues with the Oneida Indian Nation. So it's no surprise Hennessey wants New York to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores as a way to close the state deficit. He also wants to eliminate unfunded state mandates, reform state ethics codes, and create jobs. Hennessey is a financial advisor and former small business owner. He told David Sommerstein a visit to a local soup kitchen for veterans compelled him to run for State Senate.  Go to full article

Paterson wades into tobacco tax controversy

Facing a more than $7 billion deficit, Governor Paterson is plumbing even long-shot revenue sources to make up the spending gap - things like the so-called "obesity tax" on soft drinks. Another is collecting tobacco taxes from the state's Indian Nations. Initial reaction from tribal chiefs suggests Albany shouldn't expect the money anytime soon. As David Sommerstein reports, Paterson has been reluctant to tread where past Governors have failed.  Go to full article

Wisconsin Oneidas Eye Antwerp Land

The plot continues to thicken in Governor Pataki's efforts to resolve land claims in New York with native tribes. The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin may acquire 1000 acres of state forest land in Jefferson County as a part of a settlement. As David Sommerstein reports, the Nation would be prohibited from developing the land commercially.  Go to full article

Sorting Out Land Claim, Casino Deals

In the past month, Governor Pataki has announced four deals with native tribes to resolve land claims and build casino resorts in the Catskills. Three of those agreements are with tribes from outside New York. A fifth casino deal could pop up if the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe approves a proposed land claim settlement. The deals push the number of casino plans beyond the number approved by the legislature. The Governor wants the legislature to accommodate the new plans. Martha Foley talks with David Sommerstein to sort it all out.  Go to full article

Oneida Air Service Takes Off

The Oneida Nation is expanding its already thick portfolio of business ventures to include an exclusive charter air service. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Seek to Limit Tribal Jurisdiction

Across the country, some native tribes are buying land far from their reservations with the intent of opening gambling ventures there. New York's congressional delegation is proposing a bill that would curtail the practice, which lawmakers are calling "reservation shopping". The legislation stems from a dispute over a bingo hall the Seneca-Cayuga tribe of Oklahoma wants to build in the Finger Lakes area. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
John Combs won the column climb, ringing the bell<br />at the top in only 7.2 seconds.
John Combs won the column climb, ringing the bell
at the top in only 7.2 seconds.

"High Steel" Prowess at Ironworker Festival

For generations, Mohawks and other Native Americans have built the world's most famous buildings and bridges, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. They work the "high steel," a dangerous profession practiced hundreds of feet above the ground. The skill and craft of ironworking took center stage last month near Syracuse in a sort of ironworker olympics. Ironworkers competed in events like knot-tying, wrench throwing, and the 30-foot column climb. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks Oppose NY Tax Plan

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe last week lashed out against the state's plan to collect cigarette and gas taxes on reservations. Earlier this month, the state taxation department released a plan to tax non-native purchases at native-owned gas and tobacco shops. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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