moved for leave to introduce Bill C-650, An Act to amend the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act (independent assessment).
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Halifax for seconding my bill. This is an issue that affects many, an issue about which we were able to pressure the minister during question period.
In fact, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act was passed in the 1970s because the federal government cannot be taxed by a local authority. Nonetheless, in the interest of fairness to taxpayers, money must be given to a municipality where the federal government has property. The federal government must pay its fair share just like businesses and taxpayers.
Unfortunately, over the past few years, the government has turned a deaf ear to the municipalities, resulting in cases that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court and revealing the fact that some property values have been underestimated.
My bill seeks to ensure that the government and local municipalities can agree on independent assessors who will set the amount. Then, the minister would be required to accept that amount. This would ensure taxpayer fairness. That is what is essential here.
Again, I want to thank my colleague from Halifax, and I am very pleased to be able to improve this process for the good of the taxpayers of Chambly, Halifax and all the municipalities in Canada where a national historic site is located.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)