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Oneida Nation of New York

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The smallest city in New York, Sherrill, is suing Nation Representative Ray Halbritter in federal court in Syracuse. It asked a federal court to block the nation from buying more land inside the city until the nation agrees to pay taxes. "This is another attempt to tax nation lands," nation spokesman Mark Emery said. "They can't tax the land no matter how hard they try." The city foreclosed on three nation-owned parcels in February for non-payment of taxes. The nation filed a federal lawsuit seeking a ruling that the nation is exempt from local property taxes under federal law. The nation claims the property it bought in Sherrill is part of some 250,000 acres illegally taken by the state of New York some 200 years ago. The Sherill city manager said Halbritter was named rather than the nation to get around the claim the nation is not subject to local laws. David O. Barker added that the Oneidas are welcome in Sherill, "but we expect them to abide by the rules and pay their taxes. The nation owns more than 13,000 acres in Herkimer and Oneida counties", Emery said.

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