Bands Settle Tobacco Tax Issue With Province

Wednesday, September 03, 2003 at 14:48




Two northern Saskatchewan First Nations have reached a settlement with the province over the issue of collecting fuel and tobacco taxes on reserve.


The Shoal Lake Cree Nation got 234-thousand dollars from the province, while the Cumberland House Cree Nation received 204-thousand dollars.


The two bands are among several First Nations in the province that have taken the provincial government to court over the issue.


Up until 3 years ago, the province had taxed status Indians for gas and tobacco purchases on reserve.


In recent years, the province has allowed on-reserve band outlets to offer tobacco products and gas tax free to status Indians.


The out-of-court settlements are aimed at compensating the bands for taxes they had to submit to the province from April 1994 to March of 2000.


Shoal Lake Chief Marcel Head says some people wanted the band to go after as much as 500-thousand dollars from the province, but he says he’s satisfied with what the band eventually got.


Chief Head says nearly two-thirds of the band’s settlement was given directly to band members.