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 Reserves. Consequently Tzeachten 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.
Tzeachten has been administering property tax since 1995. This was originally done through a bylaw under the Indian Act because that was the only way to do it. 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. Tzeachten is currently in the process of enacting the Property Assessment Law and Property Taxation Law.
There are currently 1500 property taxation folios within Tzeachten First Nation. The Tzeachten First Nation Tax Centre issues the tax notices and collect the taxes from resident taxpayers. However because the Tzeachten reserve lies within the boundaries of the City of Chilliwack, municipal services are provided by the City of Chilliwack. Consequently, 75% of all taxes collected are transferred to the City of Chilliwack and only 25% is retained by Tzeachten.
For more information on Property Taxation contact:
TZEACHTEN FIRST NATION PROPERTY TAX CENTRE
29-6014 Vedder Rd
Chilliwack, BC V2R 5M4
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org