First Nations Tax Commission – Commission de la fiscalité des premières nations
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Tzeachten First Nation

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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.

Tzeachten First Nation video transcript

Background on community property taxation.
Tzeachten First Nation is located in Chilliwack B.C. which is about an hour and a half east of Vancouver. Our membership is about 500 band members, about half of those live on the reserve. We started collecting property taxes in 1995 under a bylaw because that was the only thing that was available to us. And in 2010 is when we enacted our property taxation law. We have currently about 1,050 folios, mainly residential. We’re the ones who send out the tax notices, we also collect the taxes, however because of our proximity to the city of Chilliwack, they’re the ones who actually provide all of our services.

What does property tax mean to you?
It’s our way of generating our own source revenue so that we can do our own projects without relying on the funding from the government.

Why did your First Nation get involved in collecting property tax?
I believe Tzeachten, again, just being so progressive and we wanted to just generate our own source. We’re really big on that, even now under the land code, we also- that’s just one more step of just becoming a little bit more self-government by not relying on the Indian Act anymore, not relying on Indian Affairs, generating our own revenue source so we can do our own projects.

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