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OKIB TAXATION OF NON-NATIVES

OCCUPYING BAND LAND

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Last updated January 25, 2015

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During the 1970's Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario all vacated this field of taxation but British Columbia continues to levy provincial property taxes on these leaseholds and permit them to also be taxed by local governments, including municipalities, school districts, regional districts, hospital districts and improvement districts.

http://www.rbish.ca/PropTaxRpt1987.pdf

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First Nations angling for exemption from new tax
Kelowna Capital News - By Alistair Waters - June 22, 2010

B.C. First Nations leaders are calling for a province-wide HST exemption for their members.

Penticton Indian Band’s Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told the Capital News Tuesday, that’s the demand he will make when he and other First Nation leaders meet with Finance Minister Colin Hansen on Thursday.

Saying he was “not impressed” that Hansen waited until the “11th hour,” to meet despite repeated attempts by Native leaders over the past few months, Phillip said he will go to the meeting and will press for B.C. to follow Ontario’s lead and exempt B.C. aboriginals from paying the HST on and off reserve

Unlike B.C., which does not have a history of treaties between First Nations and the federal government, Ontario has exempted its Native people from sales tax both on and off reserve for many years, said Phillip.

In B.C., there has been a sales tax exemption for First Nation members but only for goods purchased on reserve.

But, he said a majority of First Nations people live off reserve in B.C., in part because of a lack of housing and jobs in their home communities. Many aboriginals also tend to have a lower income and because of that, the HST will affect them particularly harshly.

“It will be another burden in an already dire situation,” he said.

Support for a mirror of the situation in Ontario is widespread among B.C. First Nations across the province, according to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, including First Nations here in the Okanagan.

Chief Robert Louie of the Westbank First Nation said he supports the move to bring in a sweeping HST exemption for First Nation people in B.C. both on and off reserve.

“If the province of Ontario can do it, why can’t the province of British Columbia?” he said.

Louie believes the “vast majority” of First Nation people are opposed to the HST here but added it’s still unclear what will happen in regard to the current initiative petition campaign to have the tax scrapped and as a result, would not speculate on what will happen if a province-wide exemption is not granted to First Nations people.

On the WFN reserves, the WFN government currently collects a five per cent tax—equivalent to the GST—from its members on just three items, alcohol, tobacco and automotive fuel.

Other purchases by First Nation members of products bought on reserve are not taxable. First Nation members pay sales tax and GST on goods bought off reserve just like non-native people.

Louie said information from the Canada Revenue Agency has shown the amount of administration will increase with the introduction of the HST but other than that, little will change on WFN reserves.

The issue, he added, is really an exemption for First Nation people shopping off reserve across the province.

Phillip said after a recent meeting with leaders of the Fight HST group—lead by former Social Credit premier Bill Vander Zalm and trying to have the current law allowing the HST rescinded—members of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs vowed to do all they could to stop the new harmonized sales tax.

The tax will replace the current five per cent GST and the seven per cent provincial sales tax as of July 1 with a combined 12 per cent sales tax.

The new tax will be applicable on a host of items and services currently exempt from the PST.

Despite many economists supporting the introduction of the HST in B.C., saying it will be good for the economy, a recent StatsCan report said the introduction would immediately increase costs for an average B.C. household by about $500 per year.

The Fight HST group has gathered the signatures of 15 per cent of all registered voters is all 85 B.C. ridings on petitions to try to force the government to either hold a non-binding provincial referendum on the HST or introduce legislation abolishing it. If the latter route is followed, the Liberals have a majority in the legislature to vote such a bill down and keep the HST in place.

As part of the deal it made with Ottawa to create the HST, the province will get $1.6 billion.

But unlike Ontario, which got $4 billion in its HST deal with the federal government, B.C. is refusing to pass the money it received onto residents in the form of HST rebate cheques.

awaters "at" kelownacapnews.com

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February 2006

Some Bands do not tax their Buckshees occupiers :
The discussions to date have been that all buckshee non-native occupiers on the Okanagan’s Indian Reserves would be taxed if the Okanagan Band takes over taxation. Issues have been raised that some Bands do not tax their Buckshee non-native occupiers of Indian Reserve land. This matter has been referred to the Indian Taxation Advisory Board and a report will be made back to the community.

Has the Band Council got a strategy for the expenditures of the tax monies, i.e. cleaning up the lake, pollution, roads, sewage?
The suggestion is that with creating reliable systems for sewage, etc. that the services can be charged to the non-native occupiers.

Source  http://www.okib.ca/news/taxation_final_report.php

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January 2006
People living on developments such as, Parkers Cove, Lawrence Heights, Country Estates, Desert Cove and Turtle Lodges pay property tax which is collected by Kelowna, Vernon and the Regional District. This could and should be going to the Okanagan Indian Band. Over the past ten years the Band has essentially given away between 10 and 15 million dollars by allowing other jurisdictions to collect the property tax.

Source  http://www.okib.ca/news/property_user_fee_initiative.php

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