SQ’EWÁ:LXW FIRST NATION PROPERTY TAXATION
Most governments rely on taxes to generate the majority of their revenue to support programs and services. Property taxes are the main source of revenue for municipalities. However, from 1875 to 1988 federal legislation made it illegal for First Nations to collect property taxes. In fact, the laws excluded First Nation taxation but allowed municipalities and provincial governments to levy and collect property taxes from Reserves without supplying any services. This historical lack of financial resources has been a huge barrier to capital development on First Nations land. Consequently Sq’ewá:lxw and many other First Nations have so much ground to make up in bringing infrastructure, roads, sewer, water, recreation and other services up to standards enjoyed off-Reserve.
Sq’ewá:lxw has been administering property tax since 2005. This was originally done through a bylaw under the Indian Act. There is now new federal legislation that allows First Nations to pass their own taxation laws under the guidance of the First Nation Tax Commission. Sq’ewá:lxw enacted their Property Assessment Law and Property Taxation Law in 2016.
The Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation Tax Centre issues the tax notices and collect the taxes from resident taxpayers.
For more information on Property Taxation contact:
Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation
58611A Lougheed Hwy
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A2
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org