In August and September 2018, the FNTC approved a series of changes and proposed changes to several of its policies and Standards concerning Indian Act section 83 and First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) taxation. Under section 83, the following policies were changed to improve clarity and consistency with the section 83 regulatory framework:
– Dispute Resolution Policy
– Taxpayers Relations Policy
– Local Improvement Tax Policy
Proposed changes related to the FMA include amendments to the Standards for First Nation Taxpayer Representation to Council Laws, 2018. These changes are intended to bring the Standards in line with the current version of the FMA, recent changes to related Standards, and to remove reference to an arbitration option for First Nation dispute resolution. The use of arbitration for First Nation-taxpayer disputes has the potential for unlawful delegations, therefore the provision was revised. The deadline for comments on the proposed changes to the
Standards is October 7, 2018.
The Commission is also revising the Standards for First Nation Property Taxation Laws, 2016. These amendments would address issues raised by several First Nations who are using partnerships for residential\ commercial developments, and wish to extend property tax exemptions to these partnerships. The proposed amendments to the Standards would introduce a new term, “First Nation Entity”, which means a First Nation corporation or partnership of which the First Nation has at least 50% beneficial ownership. The public input period for comments on the proposed changes to the Property Taxation Standards begins September 24, 2018 and concludes November 2, 2018.
Finally, the Commission is proposing changes to the Standards Respecting Notices Relating to Local Revenue Laws, 2018 to address notification of laws in situations where there are seasonal occupiers on reserve lands. Many First Nation communities have non-member residents who occupy on-reserve properties on a seasonal basis (e.g., cottagers, and secondary summer homes). Proposed amendments to the Standards would require First Nations to either adapt the timing of their law notification periods to a time of year when seasonal properties are actually occupied, or opt for a mail/email delivery of law notification. The public input period for comments on the proposed changes begins on October 8, 2018 and concludes November 9, 2018.
For more information on the changes in section 83 policy, or to make a comment on proposed changes to the FNTC Standards, please see the bulletins on www.fntc.ca.