Saskatchewan Chiefs Sign Gas Tax Rebate Agreements
DECEMBER 1981 v11 n11 p11
Several Saskatchewan Indian Bands have signed gas tax rebate agreements, and in effect, implemented a four-year program that will net these bands approximately $4 million over the next four years.
At the end of the last All Chiefs Spring Conference FSI Chief Sol Sanderson and Agriculture Minister Gordon MacMurchy signed the four-year gas tax rebate agreement.
The agreement stipulated that the distribution of grants begin in late October or in November of this year and executed annually thereafter.
The North Battleford District Chiefs were one group that signed the agreement worth $143,544.56.
The 16 Bands in the Touchwood - File Hills - Fort Qu'Appelle District also signed an agreement totalling $154,177.24.
Earlier, the Yorkton and the Prince Albert District Chiefs signed similar agreements.
Agriculture Minister Gordon MacMurchy talks to the Chiefs during the signing of the Agreement.
Chief Gordon Albert of Sweetgrass and Gordon MacMurchy sign Memorandum of Agreement.
How the funds are spent is at the discretion of each band.
In signing each of the agreements, Agriculture Minister Gordon MacMurchy told the Chiefs that "negotiations have been going on for a number of years between the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (FSI) and the provincial government and the result of those negotiations is witnessed by this signing."
He also added that it is the obligation of the provincial government to live up to the spirit and intent of the treaties..."such as this particular case with respect to taxation of gasoline".
Chief Hilliard McNab of Gordon's reserve presents a small
gift to the visiting party during the signing of the gas tax rebate agreement.
The terms of the agreement are as follows:
- the province of Saskatchewan pursuant to the Fall Petroleum Products Act, levies a tax on the use of gasoline payable at point of purchase within the province.
- the spirit and intent of the treaties with the Indian people identifies that Indians and the Indian Bands should be free from such taxation of gasoline for their own use on a reserve.
- the program shall operate for a period of four years and shall be binding during and for the term of the program.
- the province will provide to the band a grant in lieu of gasoline tax collected from members of that band determined by a formula.
- the band membership used in the determination of the grant shall be that recorded on the band list published by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.
- applications for the said grants shall be made on forms provided for that purpose by the Department of Revenue, Supply and Services, and shall be authorized by a band council resolution.
- all grants shall become the property of the band absolutely and free from any condition.
- grants provided shall not replace federal funding obligations.
- all registered Indians, bands, Indian associations, Indian commercial enterprises and other Indian entities shall continue to pay the tax on use of fuel at points of purchase.
- that Indian individuals, bands, and other Indian entities are not exempted from paying the Automobile Accident Insurance Act premium.
- the province shall not provide any grant, rebate or remittance of gasoline tax to any Indian individual, association, band or entity as may expressly be provided by the Fuel Petroleum Products Act.
- the band agrees to assist the Department of Revenue upon request in collecting information regarding the use of gasoline by its members on a reserve.
The Saskatchewan Chiefs praised the provincial government for honoring the treaties and welcomed the return of tax money, which will enable them to finance unfinished projects.