August 30, 2019
Proposed Amendments to the Standards for the Timing of First Nation Annual Rates and Expenditure Laws, 2017
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, harmonization, and the interests of all stakeholders in the First Nation property tax system.
Under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (the “Act”), the FNTC reviews and approves laws. Section 35(1) of the Act gives the FNTC the authority to establish standards, not inconsistent with the regulations. The standards established by the FNTC are additional requirements and, together with the Act and its associated regulations, form the regulatory framework supporting 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 2016, amendments to the Act came into force which enabled the FNTC to establish standards for the timing of First Nation annual laws. With the repeal of the First Nations Rates and Expenditure Law Timing Regulations, the FNTC Standards for the Timing of First Nation Annual Rates and Expenditure Laws, 2017 (Timing Standards) effectively replaced the regulations.
The Timing Standards set a requirement for the enactment of First Nation annual tax rates laws and annual expenditure laws to be enacted on or before July 31st of the taxation year to which the annual tax rates law and annual expenditure law applies (the date for First Nations in Saskatchewan is August 31). The Standards do not affect or change the First Nation’s requirement to make annual tax rate laws consistent with the date set out in its property taxation law. The vast majority First Nations enact their annual laws before August 31.
Under the proposed amendments to the Timing Standards, the new date would be November 30th for all First Nations enacting annual laws. This change will ensure consistency for all First Nations, and will provide for greater flexibility for First Nation law-making.
The FNTC is seeking public input in respect of these proposed Standards. If you wish to learn more about the proposed changes, please contact the FNTC at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone toll free at 1 (855) 682-3682. Electronic versions of the proposed Standards (changes are highlighted in red) are available at www.fntc.ca or by clicking the link below:
Please direct your written comments on or before October 4, 2019 to:
First Nations Tax Commission
321-345 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Telephone: 1 (855) 682-3682
Fax: (250) 828-9858