Counties have 30 days to remark on Nation trust

by Steven Getman
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Seneca and Cayuga counties have 30 days to respond, now that the Cayuga Indian Nation has submitted its

application to have its land there placed into federal trust.

Leaders in both counties were notified Monday by the federal Department of the Interior that the Cayugas’

applications have been received by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which will consider acquiring the land to put it in

trust to benefit the Nation.

“It is interesting to see that, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the proposed uses for the property are a

campground and a gas station, not gambling,” said Seneca County Attorney Steven Getman. “However, this does

not mean the Cayugas have no intention of establishing a gambling operation at the site.”

He said research has shown that some tribes apply to the BIA under a use that doesn’t have gaming’s stringent

regulations, and then they convert the operations to gaming after the land is taken into trust.

Getman said there are much greater limitations on land taken into trust if it is to be used by a tribal government for

gaming purposes.

“The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 ... prohibits gaming on off-reservation lands acquired in trust after

1988, unless the governor of the state concurs and [it’s determined] that gaming would not be detrimental to the

surrounding community,” he said.

Getman said he has forwarded copies of the documents to Attorney Brian Laudadio at Harris Beach, Pittsford, the

county’s land claim counsel. The counties have been opposed to the trust applications all along.

Seneca County also has a Land into Trust task force, named Oct. 11 by Board Chairman Robert Shipley, to

formulate its opposition strategy. It met in executive session Tuesday but took no action. Getman said it continues

to gather information and discuss legal strategy for fighting the land into trust application.

Getman also noted that preliminary estimates show that county taxpayers lost about $200,000 in tax revenue last

year because of the Nation’s refusal to remit sales taxes on gasoline and cigarette sales to non-Indians.

The Nation claims it is not subject to local jurisdiction or taxation.

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Steven Getman Attorney Franklin & Gabriel Law Office

Steven Getman County Assigned Counsel, 2008-2011

Steven Getman Seneca County Stop-DWI Coordinator, 2007

Steven Getman Seneca County Attorney, 2002-2007

Steven Getman Seneca County DSS Attorney, 1995-2001

Steven Getman Attorney Midey & Swinehart, 1995-2001

Steven Getman Seneca County Public Defender, 1995

Steven Getman Seneca County Law Guardian Panel, 1992-1995

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