The FNTC operates in the larger context of First Nation issues which goes beyond property tax. The FNTC is concerned with reducing the barriers to economic development on First Nation lands, increasing investor certainty, and enabling First Nations to be part of their regional economies. The FNTC is working to fill the institutional vacuum that has prevented First Nations from participating in the market economy and creating a national regulatory framework for First Nation tax systems that meets or beats the standards of provinces.
The mission of the First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC) is to help First Nation governments build and maintain fair and efficient property tax regimes and to ensure those First Nation communities, and their taxpayers alike, receive the maximum benefit from those systems. It will achieve this mission by working with First Nations and stakeholders to:
- develop, implement, and enforce an appropriate regulatory framework;
- identify education needs and develop and offer programs to meet those needs;
- prevent and resolve disputes; and
- support economic development on First Nation lands, in part through services to, and coordination with, the two other First Nations fiscal institutions.
Through an agreement with the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, the FNTC will provide advice regarding the approval of S.83 by-laws and deliver services to First Nations exercising property tax jurisdiction under S.83 of the Indian Act.
Section 29 of the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) establishes the purposes of the First Nations Tax Commission:
- ensure the integrity of the system of First Nations real property taxation and promote a common approach to First Nationsreal property taxation nationwide, having regard to variations in provincial real property taxation systems;
- ensure that the real property taxation systems of First Nations reconcile the interests of taxpayers with the responsibilities of chiefs and councils to govern the affairs of First Nations;
- prevent, or provide for the timely resolution of, disputes in relation to the application of local revenue laws;
- assist First Nations in the exercise of their jurisdiction over real property taxation on reserve lands and build capacity in first nations to administer their taxation systems;
- develop training programs for First Nations real property tax administrators;
- assist First Nations to achieve sustainable economic development through the generation of stable local revenues;
- promote a transparent First Nations real property taxation regime that provides certainty to taxpayers;
- promote understanding of the real property taxation systems of First Nations; and
- provide advice to the Minister regarding future development of the framework within which local revenue laws are made.