CTF Renews Call To Dump Reserve Tax Exemptions

Friday, November 13, 2009 at 15:38



The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is singling out a First Nations-owned gas station in Regina in its latest call to have on-reserve tax exemptions eliminated by governments.


Saskatchewan director Lee Harding says since the Piapot band opened the Cree Land Mini-Mart in north-central Regina — a nearby non-reserve gas outlet has seen a 75 per cent drop in cigarette sales and a 25 per cent drop in sales overall.


He also blames “race-based tax exemptions” for the recent closure of the Shell station at Angus Street and Dewdney Avenue.


According to new figures obtained by the CTF through a Freedom of Information request, on-reserve businesses in the province received $54 million in provincial tobacco tax rebates and $15 million in fuel tax rebates over the last year.


Harding says non-reserve businesses do not enjoy this tax rebate, which he says makes it extremely difficult for them to compete — and that this tax exemption doesn’t have a place in the 21st century.


But the CEO of the Regina Chamber of Commerce disagrees.


John Hopkins says the rights and obligations in the treaties and Indian Act should be upheld, because they are the law of the land.


He says the Chamber of Commerce strongly supports treaty rights within the city and elsewhere.


Hopkins says it’s extremely important to grow the economy together — saying it should have been done 125 years ago.