Proposed Standards for Representation of Taxpayers’ Interests in Council (2018)
The standards established by the First Nations Tax Commission (the “Commission” or “FNTC”) represent best practices for property taxation and are intended to support First Nations economic growth and the exercise of their jurisdiction. harmonization of property taxation and the interests of all stakeholders in the First Nation property tax system.
Under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (the “Act” or the “FNFMA”), the Commission is responsible for reviewing and approving legislation. Section 35 (1) (a) of the Act gives the Commission the power to establish standards, insofar as they are not inconsistent with the regulations, as to the form and content of local revenue legislation . The standards established by the Commission are additional requirements that, together with those of the Act and Regulations, form the regulatory framework that governs First Nations taxation under the Act.
It is the policy of the Commission to solicit public comment before adopting standards or substantially modifying them. This feedback is essential to enable it to develop satisfactory and effective standards for participating First Nations and their taxpayers.
The Proposed Taxpayer Advocacy Standards Act (2018) sets out minimum requirements for First Nations laws that provide for the procedure by which taxpayer interest can be presented to the taxpayers’ council. first nation, made under paragraph 5 (1) (c) of the Act.
In February 2010, the Commission adopted the initial version of the Taxpayer Interest Representation Laws Standard . Taxpayer interest representation legislation is optional local revenue legislation that helps improve relations between First Nations and their taxpayers by establishing procedures by which taxpayers and a First Nation council can more efficient way. In addition, these pieces of legislation provide for dispute resolution mechanisms to more effectively resolve property taxation disputes.
In June 2018, the Commission approved the proposed amendments to repeal and replace the existing version of the Standards with new standards that contain new and revised provisions. These amendments align the wording of the Standards with the latest amendments to the FAA and recent changes to the other standards of the Commission. Section 4.2 (b) has been redrafted to remove the option of arbitration from dispute settlement mechanisms. The use of arbitration to resolve disputes between a First Nation and its taxpayers could constitute a potentially unlawful delegation of the legislative power of the board or an interference with the exercise of its discretion by allowing an arbitrator to dictate the content of the first nation legislation.
The Commission’s Standards for these pieces of legislation set minimum requirements that include:
- – Advance Notice of Annual Tax Rates and Expenditures Legislation – Legislation must require five days’ notice prior to the Annual Tax Rate Legislation and Annual Expenditure Legislation for each year taxation year.
- – Access to Documents – The legislation must provide access to specific documents related to property taxation: annual audit, resolutions and service agreements. The law must describe the types of information that are not available to taxpayers under this regime.
- – Regular Communications – The law must specify how the First Nation will maintain regular communication with taxpayers.
- – Dispute Resolution – The law must provide for a process for the resolution of local disputes for taxpayers and representatives of the First Nation.
The FNTC is seeking public comment on proposed standards. You can obtain the electronic version of the proposed standards at www.fntc.ca or by clicking on the link below:
Please send your comments in writing no later than 7 October 2018 to the following address:
First Nations Tax Commission
345 Chief Alex Thomas Way, Suite 321
Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1
Telephone: (250) 828-9857
Fax: (250) 828-9858
Email address: email@example.com