October 8, 2018
Proposed Standards Respecting Notices Relating to Local Revenue Laws, 2018
Standards established by the First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC) reflect best practices in property taxation, and are designed to support First Nation economic growth, First Nation jurisdiction, property tax harmonization, and the interests of all stakeholders in the First Nation property tax system.
Under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA or the “Act”), the FNTC reviews and approves laws. Section 35(1)(a) of the Act gives the FNTC the authority to establish standards, not inconsistent with the regulations, respecting the form and content of local revenue laws. The standards established by the FNTC are additional requirements and, together with the Act and its associated regulations, form the regulatory framework governing First Nation taxation under the Act.
As a matter of policy, the FNTC seeks public input prior to introducing or significantly amending its standards. This input is critical in developing standards that are acceptable and effective for participating First Nations and their taxpayers.
In March 2018, the Commission approved the Standards respecting Notices relating to Local Revenue Laws, 2018 (Notification Standards). The Standards, which came into effect in June 2018, set additional notice requirements (e.g., extension of notification periods, how notification is to be carried out) for certain types of laws made under the FMA.
The Commission is proposing amendments to the Notification Standards to address the notification of laws under section 6 of the FMA where there is seasonal occupation of properties. In these situations, on reserve property holders either seasonally occupy their properties or have lease restrictions limiting when they can have access to their properties. Typically these cottage or secondary residences are occupied during the spring and summer months. For these property holders, initiating the notification of laws (i.e., posting and publication) during a time when taxpayers are not occupying their properties, inhibits the effectiveness of notification. The Proposed Standards respecting Notices relating to Local Revenue Laws, 2018 are intended to address this situation.
The proposed Standards include a new definition in PART VI for “seasonal property”, and options in a new section 8 which would require First Nations that have seasonal occupiers, and are providing law notification under section 6 of the FMA, to either:
– carry out section 6 FMA notification and the Notification Standards requirements during the time of year when seasonal properties are usually occupied; or
– carry out individual notice by way of email or regular mail to an address provided by the taxpayer.
The FNTC is seeking public input in respect of these proposed Standards. For more information, please contact the FNTC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (250) 828-9857. Electronic versions of the proposed Standards are available at www.fntc.ca or by clicking the link below:
Please direct your written comments on or before November 9, 2018 to:
First Nations Tax Commission
321-345 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops BC V2H 1H1
Telephone: (250) 828-9857
Fax: (250) 828-9858