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New Brunswick to review gas-tax agreements with First Nations

New Brunswick Finance Minister Blaine Higgs is shown in Fredericton on March 22, 2011.

DAVID SMITH-MDS PHOTOGRAPHY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Brunswick's Finance Minister says he will review agreements with First Nations on the collection of provincial taxes on gasoline sold to non-aboriginals.

Blaine Higgs says many of the agreements date back to the early 1990s when the tax often wasn't collected at all.

He says many agreements can outlive their intended use and he wants to determine if there is an unfair advantage that is making it difficult for competing businesses.

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Kevin Lacey, the Atlantic director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says the agreements allow First Nations retail businesses to remit just 5 per cent of the provincial tax they collect on gas sold to non-aboriginals.

He says that gives those businesses an advantage over their non-aboriginal competitors.

Lacey wants the agreements cancelled, but Higgs says that would not help find a solution to the problem.

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