The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point (CKSP) has recently become the first First Nation in Ontario to establish its property taxation jurisdiction under the FMA. As part of rolling out its property tax regime, the CKSP has also formalized a working relationship with Municipal Property Assessment Corporation of Ontario (MPAC) resulting in contracted assessment services being provided to the First Nation.
The Kettle Point reserve is located in southwestern Ontario along the southeast shore of Lake Huron, 35 kilometres northeast of Sarnia and adjacent to the town of Forest. The Kettle Point reserve is approximately 1,100 hectares and includes 300 cottage leaseholds.
The CKSP has invested many years into the establishment of their property taxation regime. The work included developing their annual laws, registering their tax administrator Stephanie Bressette in Tulo’s First Nation Tax Administrator certificate program and working with FNTC to modify the Tax Administration Software (TAS) to support their tax administration. The software modification was necessary to support a First Nation property tax system in Ontario, as well as to meet CKSP’s specific tax administration and reporting needs. FNTC also facilitated work with the Ontario assessor, MPAC, who agreed to provide assessment services for the new tax system.
CKSP has extensive plans for development of their lands that highlight the need for increased services being requested by leaseholders and member residents. It is clear property taxation under the FMA will lead to more revenue for the CKSP community, provide formal mechanisms to address taxpayer concerns regarding assessed values and lead to increased land values and associated leasehold revenues for the locatee landlords.
CKSP has many local attractions for visitors to enjoy including its famous “kettles,” recreational beach, golf course, shopping plaza, veteran’s memorial, and annual pow wow. Now the First Nations has a property tax system to generate stable local revenues to ensure the provision of quality local services and further infrastructure and community development. The CKSP property tax system, supported by TAS and the authoritative assessment services provided by MPAC, can serve as a model of best practices for other First Nations in Ontario.