Taxation Would Help First Nations

Audio, Aboriginal Futures, Frontier Centre

If First Nations started to tax band members and include that revenue in their annual budget, there could be measurable improvements in their overall quality of life.

In recent years, First Nations have been given more opportunities to create their own independent tax base.

Personal income can now be taxed on First Nations with self-government agreements, and other First Nations have the opportunity to implement sales taxes, user-fees, and taxes on real property.

The Institute on Governance has found that there are definite benefits to using tax revenue for First Nations projects and enhancing economic development.

These benefits include greater participation, and greater transparency and accountability, on First Nations where some form of tax is collected, because band members have a financial or personal stake in their government’s performance.

Nobody likes paying taxes, but comprehensive systems have been embraced and adopted by many First Nations governments.

More than a third of the First Nations in Canada have implemented at least one type of taxation within their reserve community.

Perhaps it’s time for more First Nations to embrace taxation as a means of improving their communities.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

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