Statement by James Calvin, NYACS President, Concerning Seneca Casino Settlement

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ALBANY, NY (06/13/2013)(readMedia)-- Congratulations to Governor Cuomo and the Seneca Indian Nation on the casino agreement they announced today, reaffirming that dialogue and good faith can resolve differences to benefit the greater good.

This settlement means that the gaming expansion bill the New York State Legislature will be asked to approve next week will rightly reflect the Governor's three newly negotiated casino compacts with the Seneca, Mohawk and Oneida Indians.

However, the proposed settlement of cigarette and motor fuel taxation issues with the Oneida Indian Nation – which fails to level the competitive playing field between Indian and non-Indian retailers in Madison and Oneida counties as advertised – has no relevance to the plan to legalize casino gaming in New York State, and thus should be dealt with separately at a later time.

We therefore recommend that the Legislature amend the casino gaming bill to remove ratification of proposed Section V of the Oneida Indian Agreement, titled "Resolution of Tax Disputes," and instead ask Governor Cuomo to modify its terms to achieve the true fairness for all parties that will benefit the greater good.

The New York Association of Convenience Stores is a private, not-for-profit trade organization representing the interests of 8,000 licensed mini-marts and convenience stores across New York State that collect and remit all applicable state and local taxes on the products they sell, and comply with all applicable state and local regulations. Our objections to the Oneida Indian Nation tax settlement are attached.