The FNTC undertook a video project profiling First Nations to celebrate their successes in using property taxation to build their economies and generate revenues. The intent was to revisit the past 25 years of First Nation property taxation in Canada and allow First Nations themselves to share how property taxation has impacted their community and what it means to them.
Background on community property taxation.
Siksika Nation is located approximately an hour east of Calgary, Alberta. Our population membership size is about 7,200 people with about 60% of those living on reserve and the rest living off reserve. Siksika started collecting property taxes in 1991. It started with our former Chief Strater Crowfoot who was part of the ITAB.
How much revenue do you collect annually with taxation?
Currently, Siksika collects about 1.2 million dollars in tax revenues. When we first started, the first year 1991, it was only 10,000 dollars. It’s been 25 years, so over 25 years Siksika has collected 17.5 million dollars in tax revenues.
How had property tax supported economic development in your community?
We have been able to use our tax dollars to provide community services. If we didn’t have that, we might not have had the opportunity to provide the parks and recreation, fire protection which is very much needed in our community because of the growth, the size, and the population. And it’s become apparent that it’s a very much needed program. And now we are currently in the process of accessing loan funding to purchase as new elementary school which is very much needed.