First Nations Tax Commission – Commission de la fiscalitè des premières nations

Webinar: Notification and Public Input Under the FMA

In the above webinar, FNTC Legal Counsel Marie Potvin breaks down notification and public input into five essential topics, including taxpayer representation, public notice requirements, framework, taxpayer structure and next steps. Below are some highlights.

Public Notice Requirements

Local revenue laws are laws made under section 5(1) of the FMA, and include property taxation laws. Apart from delegation laws, all local revenue laws are subject to public notice with varying requirements depending on the specific law a First Nation intends to enact.

Specific notice requirements are determined using two sources: Section 6 and 7 of the FMA, and the Commission Standards Respecting Notices Relating to Local Revenue Laws, 2018 (Notice Standards).

Section 6 of the FMA requires a First Nation to give notice of a proposed law at least 30 days before the law is enacted by Chief and Council. A First Nation that receives any written representations under section 6 must also follow the process set out in section 7.  Section 7 provides an opportunity to make written representations directly to the Commission.

Section 6 and 7 requirements apply to the following laws:

  • Property Tax laws
  • Property Assessment Laws
  • Development Cost Charges Laws
  • Service Tax Laws
  • Business Activity Tax Laws
  • Property Transfer Tax Laws
  • Fee Laws
  • Taxpayer Representation to Council Laws

Notice Standards

The Notice Standards create notice requirements that apply in addition to the requirements of sections 6 and 7 of the FMA. These Standards:

  • create notice requirements for annual rates and expenditure laws;
  • extend the notice period to 45 days for certain local revenue laws; and
  • create additional notice requirements for certain local revenue laws.

Taxpayer Structures

The notice and publication requirements for FMA laws are meant to reflect minimum requirements for taxpayer engagement. First Nations themselves will determine how to ensure taxpayers have meaningful input into the taxation system.

First Nations may want to consider enacting a taxpayer representation to council law, which is a law that is specifically enabled under the FMA. Other options for taxpayer engagement include encouraging and supporting the creation of taxpayer associations, and providing information to taxpayers on matters that impact them.

Next Steps

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