Service New Brunswick (SNB) and the Tobique and Elsipogtog First Nations have entered into a historic agreement for SNB to provide services for the two New Brunswick communities. Negotiations between the First Nations and SNB began in 2008 and much work has been done by all parties to arrive at their final agreement.
Deputy Chief Commissioner David Paul, First Nations Tax Commission
Each of the First Nations that have signed the agreement are at the beginning stages of developing their tax systems and will be relying on utilities and other services, as the foundation of their tax bases with an eye on future economic development in their communities.
Tobique First Nation started the process of taxation in October 2015. The taxation and assessment laws, developed under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) and approved by the FNTC in August 2016, recognize the jurisdiction to tax corporations on the First Nation’s lands.
Chief Ross Perley, Tobique First Nation
Tobique First Nation is the largest Maliseet community in the Atlantic Provinces, located along the St John and Tobique Rivers with a population of 2,338 members. The community has its own wellness centre, elementary school, and natural resources. Within the community there are also some band businesses, such as a gas bar and a convenience store, along with privately-owned businesses as well.
Tobique First Nation’s on reserve, taxable properties include residential leases, buildings, commercial leases, farming permits, transmission lines, production facilities, towers, and railways. Taxation for Tobique First Nation will mean extra revenue for community services, which could include fire protection, police protection, water, sewer, roads, infrastructure, governance and other community services.
SNB operates New Brunswick’s real and personal property registries and assesses all lands, buildings and improvements in the province and also operates the property assessment and taxation system jointly with the Department of Finance.
The First Nations Tax Commission commends the First Nations, SNB and the Province of New Brunswick in reaching this agreement and looks forward to supporting each of them as they build their local economies with revenues generated from property tax.
These First Nations are the first in New Brunswick to implement property tax and the FNTC hopes this will open the door for other New Brunswick First Nations to maximize their opportunities through property tax jurisdiction.