News release

Point of Sale System Installed

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Point of Sale System Installed at Eskasoni


As of today, March 31, status Indians no longer need to keep their receipts for fuel purchases on the Eskasoni Reserve, thanks to a new point-of-sale system installed by the province.

"The province is moving to comply with Canada's Indian Act, that says on-reserve purchases by Status Indians are tax exempt," said Peter Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "We will tap into state-of-the-art technology to deliver the tax exemption at the point of sale."

When buying fuel, an eligible customer will swipe their driver's licence through a card scanner, as in a credit card sale. The scanner will read the information contained in the magnetic stripe on the back of their licence and verify that the licence's master number is in a database of eligible people. If so, the provincial fuel tax will automatically be deducted from the sale. If not, the provincial fuel tax will remain on the bill.

"This technology will reduce the amount of paperwork required to sell tax exempt fuel on reserve," said Bernie Meagher, audit and enforcement manager for the Provincial Tax Commission, part of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "Once an applicant is accepted into the program, the tax will automatically be deducted from the sale. As well, the service station will get a credit to its fuel tax bill, based on their tax-exempt sales, automatically calculated by our point-of-sale system."

Eskasoni Band members who have a federal status Indian card can join the program by completing a form available from the band office or the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (SNSMR) Web site. The band office will certify the application and send it to SNSMR, which will advise the applicant that they can start making tax-exempt purchases.

About 700 people have already enrolled in the program.

Each licence holder will have a monthly allocation of 400 litres of fuel. If more fuel is needed, by an unincorporated on-reserve business, for example, the licence holder can apply for an increase.

Tax-exempt purchases are limited to individual licence holders. Incorporated businesses are not eligible for the exemption. As well, people with revoked or suspended licences will be denied tax-exempt purchases.

The provincial fuel tax on gasoline is 15.5 cents per litre; for diesel fuel, it is 15.4 cents per litre.

Eskasoni is the first band in the province to offer the point-of- sale tax exemption. The Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and other bands are currently in talks aimed to expand the program provincewide. Agreements have also been signed with the Millbrook Band, Cole Harbour Reserve; the service station at Shubenacadie First Nation and the Acadia Band's Yarmouth Reserve. All on-reserve stations could have the technology in place by the fall.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Status Indians no longer need to keep their receipts for fuel purchases on the Eskasoni Reserve, thanks to a new point-of- sale system installed by the province.

Eligible band members will simply swipe their driver's licence to obtain the tax exemption.

Eskasoni is the first reserve to receive the system from Service Nova Scotia; the province expects most on-reserve stations will have the system in place by the fall.

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Contact:

Kevin Finch
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-2733 E-Mail: