In a move towards self-government and away from reliance on the federal government, the Tsawout First Nation in British Columbia has brought in a new First Nations goods and services tax (FNGST).

The tax, implemented October I, will effectively replace the GST.

The FNGST is a six per cent tax on taxable supplies of goods and services on some First Nations lands. The tax applies when a band council of a First Nation passes its own law imposing FNGST. The Canada Revenue Agency then administers the tax on behalf of the First Nation community.

And it doesn’t only apply to Native people as anyone who buys goods or services on the reserve will be subject to the tax.

“Tsawout First Nation is the first band south of 60 to assert tax jurisdiction over all goods and services sold on its lands.” said Tsawout First Nation Chief Allan Claxton, in a press release. “I’m proud of our efforts to develop a new fiscal relationship with Canada that will help us support a strong community. Revenues from the Tsawout FNGST will benefit our community and the local economy.”

It is estimated that the tax would bring in about $1.3 million to the community. Members of the 500-strong band would receive a $ 100 rebate on the tax.

Revenues will bolster the economy and help the band build a new health centre for the region.