Tax Collection on Selected Reserve Lands
Res #: 18-08M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Whereas there is sometimes a processing delay between the time that a rural municipality is canvassed regarding tax arrears on land selected for reserve creation and the time that the Order in Council is officially signed; and
Whereas during that time the current taxes on selected lands may have gone into tax arrears; and
Whereas taxes on reserve land are not enforceable under The Tax Enforcement Act;
Be it Resolved that SARM contact Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and suggest that they implement a policy of phoning the rural municipality immediately prior to the Order in Council being signed to ensure that there are no outstanding tax arrears on the selected land.
Response from Sara Filbee, Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development,
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada:
In response to the resolution suggesting that Indian and Northern Affairs Canada implement a policy of phoning the rural municipality prior to reserve creation to ensure there are no outstanding tax arrears, the title holder is responsible for the payment of taxes up to the date the land is set apart as reserve.
Article 11.08(a) of the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement states that: "the Trustees shall be responsible for the payment of all taxes lawfully levied against Lands, Minerals and Improvements or the occupants thereof Purchased pursuant to this Agreement and their Band Specific Agreement, from the date of Purchase by the Trustees until the date that the same are transferred to Canada."
Further to the above, it is Departmental practice to obtain written confirmation from the municipality that all outstanding taxes have been paid prior to a Ministerial Order being forwarded to the Minister for reserve creation. I trust this addresses the concerns in your resolution.
Canada acknowledges the interests of all stakeholders in the reserve creation process and will continue to work in cooperation with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and Rural Municipalities.