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Porter urges Senate panel to give tribes tax immunity

WASHINGTON -- Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that federal tax breaks aimed at Indian tribes aren't working and that they should be replaced by something simpler and easier for tribes to use.

Testifying at a hearing on the impact of possible tax reform on Indian tribes, Porter said employment tax credits, "renewal communities" and other short-term tax breaks have failed to stimulate the economies of Indian nations.

"With all due respect, these complicated schemes have not worked in Indian Country," he said. "Their complexity and minimalism have stifled all practical benefit."

Porter suggested abandoning those complex and often short-term tax breaks and instead not charging any taxes at all on a several dozen parcels of land on reservations that need the most economic help.

"Instead of dialing back potential tax incentive benefits to useless levels, I urge you to declare unlimited tax immunity within a limited number of footprints in Indian Country for a limited number of Indian nations," Porter said.



Council's permission sought for two summer events

BATAVIA -- Permission was sought for two annual summer events on city streets in resolutions topping this week's brief City Council meeting.

The annual Genesee Cancer Assistance 5K run/walk will be held June 1 starting and ending at Batavia Downs Casino. Redfield Parkway, Richmond Avenue and the entry road to the VA Medical Center are used in the local fundraiser headed by Joseph R. Gerace.

A Round Up Motorcycle Rally will take over Jackson Street and a municipal parking lot Aug. 10-12. Motorcycle enthusiasts will share the event with vendors and a Dyno Test Machine. The second annual rally is sponsored by David A. Kasinski's Round Up Rally Productions of Le Roy.

The Council also approved an amendment to a residential-commercial urban incentive program that offers property tax exemptions for up to 12 years.

The Genesee STOP-DWI program offered $6,000 in funding, which the Council accepted, for coordinated road checks with other police agencies.



Peace demonstration planned at MLK Park shooting scene

A peace demonstration will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. today at Shelter No. 4 in Martin Luther King Park, the scene of Saturday night's shooting.

"Peace in the Park" is being sponsored by True Bethel Baptist Church and Common Council Member Demone Smith to "show peace and unity" in light of the recent acts of violence in the city.



Pegula offers landscaping for part of Canalside

Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has offered to spruce up a section of the city's waterfront on his own dime.

Team officials on Tuesday announced a donation of landscaping work for unfinished lots around the Central Wharf section of Canalside, a donation worth up to $120,000.