The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) has released its 2019 progress report on indigenous economics. The report is meant to provide an analysis of economic realities facing indigenous communities. Included are interesting findings on First Nation property taxation.
According to the report, property taxation has been identified as an indirect measure of community governance. Since 2014, there has been a 24 per cent increase in First Nations with taxation laws and by-laws, as well as a continued trend of First Nations choosing to tax under the FMA instead of s.83. The relationship between good governance and an active property taxation framework is key to improved control of finances and greater economic independence. Early observations suggest, according to the report, that First Nations with property taxation laws and by-laws tend to have better economic outcomes than those without property taxations laws and by-laws. Furthermore, First Nations with a history of implementing property taxation laws and by-laws demonstrate significantly higher outcomes than those with recently established property taxation laws and by-laws or those without them altogether. A major component of the NIEDB’s objective is to close inequity gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. As a result of its findings — and in the Recommendations portion of its report — the NIEDB therefore proposes that ongoing support exist for communities wishing to develop property taxation laws and by-laws. It believes that doing so will further prepare communities to direct their own economic-development opportunities.