The Seneca County Board of Supervisors is less than pleased with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a letter to HUD, Chairman Bob Hayssen made the Board's sentiments known about the nearly 370 thousand dollars awarded to the Cayuga Indian Nation for housing activities. Hayssen tells HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, the Cayugas owe Seneca County over 900 thousand dollars in unpaid County, Town, and School taxes. The board is asking that the award be reconsidered or for HUD to acknowledge the unwilling subsidization of the Cayuga Indian Nation housing by Seneca County taxpayers.
This has been a long time argument between Seneca County and the Cayuga Indian Nation. According to a news release, Seneca County is currently engaged in a suit pending before the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals to recover unpaid real property taxes owed by the tribe. The United State Supreme Court ruled in their decision in City of Sherill v. Oneida Indian Nation, that such taxes are lawfully payable by the tribe, but a previous ruling by the Second Circuit Court in Oneida Indian Nation v. Madison County, determined that the County lacks any means of forcing the tribe to pay those taxes.
The Seneca County case is set for argument before the Appellate Court in New York this Fall.
Here is a copy of the letter sent to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan: