Seneca County Attorney Frank Fisher surprised the Board of Supervisors Tuesday with the news that the county has 30 days to comment on the Cayuga Indian Nation’s application to put 129.1 acres of land into federal, tax-exempt trust.
Fisher said the CIN applied to put six parcels of land in Seneca and Cayuga counties into federal trust in April 2006. If the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs agrees to put the land into trust, it would become exempt from local property taxes.
The tribe has been paying property taxes on those parcels since 2006, but does not pay taxes on some 1,300 acres of other land it owns in the two counties that are not part of the trust application.
“As of last Friday, the BIA notified me that there are 30 days to comment on the trust application. I find that amazing since the Cayugas have had this pending for 12 years and we have 30 days to comment,’’ Fisher said.
He said he has contacted Brian Laudadio of Rochester, the county’s lawyer for Indian matters, and the legal counsel for Cayuga County, the towns of Seneca Falls and Springport and the village of Union Springs to set up a meeting to ask for an extension of time to comment and to formulate a coordinated response.