Point of Sale System Installed

Aboriginal Affairs/Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

March 31, 2003 12:50 PM

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.

-30-

Contact: Kevin Finch
         Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
         902-424-2733
         E-Mail: finchkh@gov.ns.ca


djl         March 31, 2003      12:50 P.M.