Pre-Budget Submission: FNTC recommends new approach to First Nation Fiscal Accommodation for Resource Projects
The First Nations Tax Commission submitted its Pre-Budget Submission for the 2015 federal budget. In its submission for the upcoming year, FNTC emphasizes the importance of creating a connection between resource projects on First Nation traditional territory and the ﬁscal resources made available to that First Nation.
FNTC’s Pre-Budget Submission recommends a new approach be taken in addressing First Nation interests in resource and resource infrastructure development. Canada needs strong investment in resource development to ﬁnancially sustain government programs, to provide quality jobs that support families, and to provide opportunities in remote regions.
First Nation participation is needed to create and sustain a strong investment climate. First Nations cannot fully participate until they are better able to share in the ﬁscal beneﬁts generated by resource development. Accommodating First Nation interests with resource development will help balance the budget, ensure ﬁscal sustainability, and provide opportunities to all Canadians.
The FNTC proposes to work with the federal government to make a ﬁscal accommodation work. The FNTC, and its predecessor Indian Taxation Advisory Board, has a long history of working with First Nations in establishing First Nation taxation and related ﬁscal issues.
With its broad base of knowledge of the unique ﬁscal issues that arise at the First Nations/provincial level, the FNTC could help facilitate agreements between provinces and First Nations. The FNTC’s work on service agreements and First Nation expenditure laws is particularly important in this regard.
Working with the FNTC, more than 150 First Nations have successfully developed property tax systems. Many of these First Nations have since entered into service agreements with local and provincial governments that have given all parties a stake in bringing investment to their region.
The FNTC’s submission addresses four key issues regarding ﬁscal accommodation:
- While there are many issues pertinent to determining First Nation positions, the ﬁscal accommodation of First Nations is pre-condition for support in almost every case;
- The federal government must take a leadership role with respect to this ﬁscal accommodation;
- Resolving ﬁscal accommodation will create a better environment for resolving other First Nations issues; and
- The First Nations Tax Commission can, and should, play an important role in designing and implementing a new federal ﬁscal accommodation strategy related to development.
The FNTC is prepared to help develop and implement a new ﬁscal accommodation policy. The FNTC has worked with First Nations to develop sophisticated tax collection systems, expenditure laws and ﬁscal planning, and greatly improved their services and infrastructure through ﬁnancing and supportive service agreements with local and provincial governments. This administrative infrastructure and related capacities is available to help advance a new approach on how First Nation interests can be better accommodated in resource development.