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Citizens Group May Sue Verona Over Turning Stone Status

By Elizabeth Christensen

Vernon, NY – A citizens group wants to sue the town of Verona.

Upstate Citizens for Equality says Verona should put several Oneida Nation owned properties back on the tax rolls.

A UCE spokesman says the acreage in question, which includes the site of the Turning Stone Casino, is not reservation land.

The town of Vernon took the properties off the tax rolls in 1990 and declared them reservation lands.

A town official says if UCE proceeds with their suit they will seriously jeopardize the financial standing of the Vernon Verona Sherrill school district.

If Turning Stone declares it's profits and is taxed by New York State, it will make VVS look wealthier than it actually is. That will result in a serious decrease in state aid for the school district.

The Oneida Nation has not yet offered comment on the possible suit, but has stood by it's federally-mandated tax exempt status in the past.