April 25, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The province has signed a tax-sharing agreement with Buctouche First Nation, Finance Minister Victor Boudreau announced today.
In a short ceremony today in Fredericton, Boudreau and Chief Ann Mary Simon signed the agreement under the Revenue Administration Act on behalf of the province and Buctouche First Nation. Justice Minister T.J. Burke and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty, who is also minister responsible for Aboriginals Affairs, also represented the province.
"Our government is pleased to sign today's agreement with Buctouche First Nation, which will help to create future opportunities for their communities," Boudreau said.
The Revenue Administration Act authorizes the province to enter into agreements with First Nations communities with respect to the sharing of revenue from taxes collected from non-native taxpayers on a band's reserve. Revenue-sharing agreements have been in place since 1995.
Since 2003-04, $12 - $15 million in provincial tax revenue and lottery revenues has been shared with First Nations each year. Revenues included in the agreements are gasoline and motive fuel taxes, tobacco taxes, the provincial portion of the HST, and video lottery and break-open ticket revenues.
Buctouche First Nation is the eighth First Nations community in New Brunswick to sign an agreement with the province to share tax revenues. The seven other communities are Fort Folly, Madawaska, St. Mary's, Oromocto, Burnt Church, Woodstock and Kingsclear.
Two other communities, Elsipogtog and Eel River Bar, have gaming-revenue agreements. Discussions are ongoing with some of the remaining First Nations communities interested in signing similar tax-sharing agreements.
"As a result of these agreements, we've seen First Nations build community centres, expand educational opportunities for their young people, and even start their own businesses," Burke said. "Our government is committed to work in co-operation with First Nations to provide economic growth and to make sure that Aboriginals have the same opportunities as non-Aboriginals."
"This agreement highlights our commitment to deepen the co-operation between our government and First Nations in New Brunswick," Doherty said. "It is proof that we can work together to share wealth and benefits, and make Aboriginals active participants in our self-sufficiency plan."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Vicky Deschênes, communications, Finance, 506-453-2451; Nichole Bowman, communications, Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, 506-444-4194.