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This Act is current to July 16, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Treaty First Nation Property Taxation Enabling Act

[SBC 2007] CHAPTER 38

Assented to November 22, 2007

Contents
Part 1Property Taxation Before 2025 Taxation Year
1Definitions for Part 1
1.1Application of Part 1
2Intention to impose property taxes
3Authority to tax non-member owners and occupiers and provide exemptions
4Property tax exemptions
4.1Adjustments to taxes
4.2Exemptions from treaty first nation taxation
4.3Authority to provide property tax exemptions
5Treaty first nation delegation
6Publication of Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement
7Section 5 of the Offence Act
7.1Repealed
8 Amendment to this Act
9Repealed
Part 2Property Taxation In and After 2025 Taxation Year
10Definitions for Part 2
11Application of Part 2
12General exemption from property taxes imposed under provincial enactments
13Real property tax agreement
14Authority to impose property taxes
15Treaty first nation real property tax law
16Property valuation
17Agreements with British Columbia Assessment Authority
18Treaty first nation delegation
19Exemptions from treaty first nation taxation
20Recovery of property taxes
21Special fees may be collected as property taxes
22Alternative remedies
23Authority to discontinue service
24Provincial payments in relation to treaty first nation grants
25Application of Offence Act
26Regulations

Part 1Property Taxation Before 2025 Taxation Year

Definitions for Part 1

1   In this Part:

"improvements" has the same meaning as in the Assessment Act;

"land" has the same meaning as in the Assessment Act;

"property taxes" means taxes imposed on the basis of

(a) the value of land or improvements or both, or

(b) a single amount for each parcel of land, the taxable area of a parcel of land or the taxable frontage of a parcel of land;

"Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement" means an agreement between Her Majesty in right of British Columbia and a treaty first nation that

(a) is authorized under the treaty first nation's final agreement, and

(b) sets out the agreement of the parties in relation to

(i) the treaty first nation's authority to apply real property taxation laws of the treaty first nation to persons other than its treaty first nation members or treaty first nation constituents, as applicable under the treaty first nation's final agreement, and

(ii) the co-ordination of the exercise of the treaty first nation's taxation authority with British Columbia's tax systems;

"taxing treaty first nation", for a taxation year, means a treaty first nation that

(a) is a party to a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement, and

(b) has complied with section 2 (3) or (5) in a previous taxation year.

Application of Part 1

1.1   Part 1 applies for the purposes of a taxation year before the 2025 taxation year.

Intention to impose property taxes

2   (1) In this section:

"band" has the same meaning as in the Indian Act (Canada);

"first nation" has the same meaning as in the Treaty Commission Act;

"treaty and land claims agreement" means a treaty and land claims agreement, within the meaning of sections 25 and 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, negotiated by a first nation, Canada and British Columbia in a process facilitated by the British Columbia Treaty Commission, established under section 3 of the Treaty Commission Act.

(2) A treaty first nation that has entered into a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement may exercise its authority under the agreement to apply real property taxation laws of the treaty first nation to persons other than its treaty first nation members or treaty first nation constituents, as applicable under the treaty first nation's final agreement and Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement, only if

(a) the treaty first nation has given notice under subsection (3) or, if a first nation has negotiated a treaty and lands claim agreement that has not come into effect, the council of the band represented by that first nation has given notice under subsection (5), and

(b) the treaty first nation has enacted a law authorizing the imposition of property taxes on those persons for the taxation year.

(3) A treaty first nation that wishes to give notice for the purposes of subsection (2) must provide, on or before June 1 of the calendar year before the taxation year in which the treaty first nation intends to first exercise the authority described in subsection (2), to the minister charged with the administration of the Community Charter,

(a) written notice stating that it will be exercising that authority in the next and following taxation years, and

(b) a copy or a draft of the law referred to in subsection (2) (b).

(4) If a treaty first nation provides a draft law under subsection (3) (b), the treaty first nation must provide to the minister charged with the administration of the Community Charter a copy of the law within 60 days after its enactment.

(5) If

(a) the Legislature has enacted settlement legislation in respect of a treaty and land claims agreement to which a first nation is a party,

(b) the first nation has negotiated a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement to come into effect on or before the date the treaty first nation intends to begin to apply property taxation laws of that treaty first nation to persons who are not its treaty first nation members or treaty first nation constituents, as applicable under the treaty first nation's final agreement and Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement,

(c) that treaty and land claims agreement provides that the individuals constituting the band council of the band represented by the first nation will form the first government of the treaty first nation, and

(d) the band council wishes to give notice for the purposes of subsection (2) and passes a resolution to that effect,

the band council of the band must provide, on or before June 1 of the calendar year before the taxation year in which the band council intends the treaty first nation to first exercise the authority described in subsection (2), to the minister charged with the administration of the Community Charter,

(e) written notice stating that the taxing treaty first nation will be exercising that authority in the next and following taxation years,

(f) a copy of the resolution referred to in paragraph (d), and

(g) a draft of the law referred to in subsection (2) (b).

(6) If a band council gives notice under subsection (5),

(a) the notice has the same effect as if it were given by the treaty first nation of which the band council forms the first government,

(b) the minister charged with the administration of the Community Charter is entitled to rely on the notice without proof of the signature or official character of the person giving the notice, and

(c) the treaty first nation must provide to that minister, within 60 days after its enactment, a copy of the law enacted by the treaty first nation, a draft of which was provided under subsection (5) (g).

Authority to tax non-member owners and occupiers and provide exemptions

3   (1) A taxing treaty first nation may, by law,

(a) impose property taxes on persons who are not its treaty first nation members or treaty first nation constituents, as applicable under the treaty first nation's final agreement, in relation to those persons' ownership or occupation of land or improvements within its treaty lands, and

(b) provide exemptions from those property taxes,

to the extent these are authorized by this Part or a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement.

(2) Despite the terms of a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement, a taxing treaty first nation may, by law, exempt from property taxes property that, under a tax treatment agreement, is exempt from all property taxes except taxes imposed by the treaty first nation.

(3) Property taxes imposed under a law of a taxing treaty first nation are deemed to have been imposed on January 1 of the year in which the law is enacted, unless expressly provided otherwise by the law under which they are imposed.

(4) If a taxing treaty first nation imposes a property tax within its treaty lands specifically for the purpose of raising the amount of a specific requisition received under any of the following:

(a) the Assessment Authority Act;

(b) the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act;

(c) the Hospital District Act;

(d) the Police Act,

despite the terms of a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement, and subject to any adjustments required or authorized under section 4.1, for the purposes of the specific requisition,

(e) to the extent that land and improvements in the treaty lands were treated as taxable under the applicable Act for the purpose of determining the amount of the requisition, land and improvements must be treated as taxable,

(f) to the extent that land and improvements were treated as exempt under the applicable Act for that purpose, land and improvements must be treated as exempt from the tax, and

(g) the rates applied to each property class in order to determine the amount of the requisition must be applied to the net taxable value of land and improvements in each property class in the treaty lands.

(5) In the circumstances described in subsection (4), the treaty first nation must set out separately on a tax notice given to the taxpayer

(a) the amount of the taxes imposed, and

(b) the rate at which the taxes are imposed

in relation to the specific requisition.

(6) If a taxing treaty first nation imposes a property tax within its treaty lands specifically for the purpose of raising the amount of a requisition referred to in subsection (4) and, under an enactment set out in that subsection, a municipality is entitled to an administration fee for collecting the tax, the taxing treaty first nation is also entitled to an administration fee, and the provisions of the applicable enactment relating to the administration fee apply in relation to the taxing treaty first nation as if it were a municipality.

(7) On or before June 1 in each taxation year, a taxing treaty first nation must provide to the minister charged with the administration of the Community Charter a copy of any laws of the taxing treaty first nation imposing property taxes, or exempting property from property taxes, for that taxation year.

Property tax exemptions

4   Interests in land or improvements within the treaty lands of a taxing treaty first nation are exempt from taxes under

(a) the School Act, and

(b) section 2 (1) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

Adjustments to taxes

4.1   For certainty,

(a) if a Real Property Tax Coordination Agreement provides that the Assessment Act and the Assessment Authority Act apply for purposes of real property taxation under the treaty first nation's taxation laws, the treaty first nation must make adjustments to property taxes responding to supplementary rolls the treaty first nation receives, and

(b) if a plan of subdivision in relation to treaty lands is deposited in the land title office, as defined in the Assessment Act, after November 30 in any year and before June 1 in the next year, the treaty first nation may apportion or reapportion, as applicable, property taxes for that next year in respect of the parcels created by the subdivision in the same proportion as taxes would have been payable had the subdivision occurred on or before November 30 in the first year.

Exemptions from treaty first nation taxation

4.2   (1) Land or improvements or both vested in or held by

(a) a taxing treaty first nation, or

(b) a taxing treaty first nation jointly with a municipality or regional district

are exempt from taxation by the taxing treaty first nation to the same extent that land, improvements or both vested in or held by a municipality or by a municipality jointly with another municipality or a regional district are exempt from taxation by the municipality under section 220 (1) (b) of the Community Charter.

(2) Sections 229 and 230 of the Community Charter apply in relation to a taxing treaty first nation and its treaty lands and, for that purpose, a reference in those sections to a municipality must be read as a reference to the taxing treaty first nation or its treaty lands, as the context requires.

Authority to provide property tax exemptions

4.3   (1) A taxing treaty first nation may, by law, provide exemptions from property taxes imposed or collected by the government or by the taxing treaty first nation, in relation to the ownership or occupation of land or improvements within the treaty lands of the taxing treaty first nation, for treaty first nation members or treaty first nation constituents of the taxing treaty first nation.

(2) A law enacted under subsection (1) does not apply in respect of property taxes imposed for a taxation year unless the law comes into force on or before October 31 in the preceding calendar year.

Treaty first nation delegation

5   A taxing treaty first nation may make laws delegating its authority, including law-making authority, under a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement to the extent this is authorized by the Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement.

Publication of Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement

6   The minister must publish each Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement in the Gazette and, if a Real Property Tax Co-ordination Agreement is amended or terminated in accordance with its terms, notice of its amendment or termination.

Section 5 of the Offence Act

7   Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Part.

Repealed

7.1   [Repealed 2024-13-266.]

Amendment to this Act

Section(s) Affected Act
8 Treaty First Nation Taxation Act

Repealed

9   [Repealed 2024-13-266.]

Part 2Property Taxation In and After 2025 Taxation Year

Definitions for Part 2

10   In this Part:

"amount owing", in relation to a treaty first nation, means an amount of property taxes, together with any applicable interest or penalties, owing to the treaty first nation;

"non-member", in relation to a treaty first nation, means a person, other than a treaty first nation member or treaty first nation constituent, as applicable under the treaty first nation's final agreement, who holds an interest in real property within the treaty lands;

"property taxes" means taxes, imposed on any basis, in relation to real property, including, without limitation, any of the following:

(a) the value of land or the value of improvements on or in the land, or both;

(b) a single amount for each parcel of land;

(c) a single amount for the taxable area of a parcel of land;

(d) a single amount for the taxable frontage of a parcel of land;

"real property tax agreement" means an agreement referred to in section 13 (1) [real property tax agreement], including any amendments to the agreement that are made in accordance with the agreement's terms and published under section 13 (2);

"real property tax law" means a law of a treaty first nation

(a) enacted under section 14 (1) [authority to impose property taxes] by which property taxes are imposed on the interests of non-members in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation, or

(b) enacted under the treaty first nation's final agreement by which property taxes are imposed on the interests of treaty first nation members or treaty first nations constituents, as applicable under the final agreement, in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation.

Application of Part 2

11   Part 2 applies for the purposes of the 2025 taxation year and each subsequent taxation year.

General exemption from property taxes imposed under provincial enactments

12   Despite any other Act, property taxes may not be imposed on interests in real property within the treaty lands of a treaty first nation except under this Act or the treaty first nation's final agreement.

Real property tax agreement

13   (1) On the written request of a treaty first nation, the minister must make all reasonable efforts to negotiate and attempt to reach an agreement with the treaty first nation in relation to the following:

(a) the authority of the treaty first nation to impose property taxes on the interests of non-members in real property within its treaty lands;

(b) the interests in real property to which the authority referred to in paragraph (a) applies.

(2) The minister must publish in the Gazette each real property tax agreement and, if a real property tax agreement is amended or terminated in accordance with its terms, notice of its amendment or termination.

Authority to impose property taxes

14   (1) If a treaty first nation has entered into a real property tax agreement, the treaty first nation may, by law and in accordance with the terms of that agreement, impose property taxes on the interests of non-members in real property within its treaty lands.

(2) Property taxes imposed under a law of a treaty first nation are deemed to have been imposed on January 1 of the year in which the law is enacted, unless expressly provided otherwise by the law under which they are imposed.

Treaty first nation real property tax law

15   (1) A real property tax law enacted under section 14 (1) must do all of the following:

(a) specify the basis on which a property tax is imposed;

(b) set the rate or amount of a property tax;

(c) provide for the collection of a property tax;

(d) provide for a tax roll and establish a procedure to correct and update the tax roll;

(e) provide for the preparation and delivery of notices to each person named in the tax roll and, on request of a holder of a registered charge, to the holder of the charge;

(f) specify the grounds on which complaints may be made and establish procedures for hearing and determining those complaints;

(g) establish procedures for refunding overpayment of property tax;

(h) include a requirement that, on request by any person, the administrator of the tax must give to the person a certificate containing the following information:

(i) the amount of unpaid taxes imposed in relation to specified property;

(ii) any applicable penalties and interest;

(iii) the name of the person who owes the unpaid taxes;

(iv) if the specified property has been sold or forfeited, the time, if any remaining, for redemption and the amount required to redeem it;

(i) include a requirement that, on demand and without charge, the administrator of the tax must give the registered owner of real property and any other person named in the tax roll in relation to the real property whichever of the following is applicable to the property:

(i) a written statement showing the amount of all unpaid property taxes;

(ii) a certificate that all property taxes, interest and penalties imposed in relation to the real property identified in the certificate have been fully paid.

(2) A certificate issued under subsection (1) (h) is evidence of the debt of the person named in the certificate.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), a real property tax law of a treaty first nation enacted under section 14 (1) may do anything the treaty first nation considers necessary for the administration and enforcement of the property tax imposed under the law, including, without limitation, any of the following:

(a) provide exemptions from property taxes imposed by the treaty first nation;

(b) provide for grants to offset amounts of property taxes payable by nonmembers;

(c) require a non-member who is the registered owner of property to provide information respecting the property;

(d) specify information respecting real property, or interests in real property, that is liable to valuation, classification or taxation that may or must be provided by a person and the manner in which the information may or must be provided;

(e) provide for the imposition of penalties and interest in relation to

(i) property taxes paid after the due date established by the law, or

(ii) the failure by a person to provide information required by the law to be provided;

(f) provide for the recovery of property taxes and penalties and interest imposed in relation to property taxes.

(4) If, under subsection (3) (e), a real property tax law provides for the imposition of interest, the law must establish the interest rate and the manner of calculating interest.

(5) In making a real property tax law, a treaty first nation may

(a) make different provisions for different persons, places, things or circumstances or for different classes of persons, places, things or circumstances, and

(b) establish different classes of persons, places, things or circumstances.

Property valuation

16   (1) If a real property tax law of a treaty first nation enacted under section 14 (1) imposes property taxes on the basis of property value, the law must either

(a) adopt the Assessment Act and the regulations under it, in their entirety and as amended from time to time, for the purposes of valuing and classifying interests in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation, or

(b) establish a complete system for the purpose of valuing interests in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation.

(2) If, under subsection (1) (a), a real property tax law of a treaty first nation adopts the Assessment Act and the regulations under it, the following enactments apply in their entirety and as amended from time to time for the purposes of assessing and taxing interests in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation:

(a) the Manufactured Home Tax Act and the regulations under it;

(b) the Tourist Accommodation (Assessment Relief) Act and the regulations under it.

Agreements with British Columbia Assessment Authority

17   (1) In this section:

"assessment" means, as the context requires,

(a) an assessment as defined in section 1 (1) of the Assessment Act, or

(b) an assessment under a real property tax law that provides for a valuation of real property, a classification of real property corresponding to a classification under the Assessment Act, or both;

"authority" means the British Columbia Assessment Authority.

(2) This section applies if

(a) a real property tax law of a treaty first nation establishes a complete system for the purposes of valuing and classifying interests in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation,

(b) the treaty first nation enters into an agreement with the authority under which the authority prepares an assessment roll for the treaty first nation,

(c) the real property tax law provides for the application of the Assessment Act for the purpose of making a complaint against the assessment roll, and

(d) a complaint against the assessment roll can be made on one or more of the grounds set out in section 32 (1) (a) to (e) [complaints respecting completed assessment roll] of the Assessment Act.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (d) of this section, a complaint may be made against the assessment roll on a ground set out in section 32 (1) (c), (d) or (e) of the Assessment Act only if the real property tax law of the treaty first nation provides for the following, as applicable:

(a) the valuation of real property in the same manner as the valuation of property under Part 3 [Valuation] of the Assessment Act;

(b) the classification of at least 2 classes of real property in the same manner as the classification of real property under Part 3 of the Assessment Act;

(c) an exemption from assessment or taxation that is the same as, or substantially similar to, an exemption from assessment or taxation under another enactment.

(4) The following provisions of the Assessment Act apply in respect of an assessment roll of a treaty first nation prepared under an agreement referred to in subsection (2) (b) of this section:

(a) sections 10 [errors and omissions in completed assessment roll], 11 [validity as confirmed by review panel], 12 [supplementary roll] and 13 (2) [complaint in respect of supplementary assessment roll];

(b) Part 4 [Property Assessment Review Panels];

(c) Part 5 [Property Assessment Appeal Board];

(d) Part 6 [Appeals to the Board from Review Panel Decisions];

(e) Part 7 [References and Stated Cases on Appeal];

(f) section 67 [open hearings].

(5) In applying a provision of the Assessment Act referred to in subsection (4), without limiting the necessary changes,

(a) a reference to an assessment roll in the provision is to be read as a reference to, as applicable,

(i) an assessment roll completed under an agreement referred to in subsection (2) (b) of this section,

(ii) an assessment roll referred to in subparagraph (i) that has been revised or amended in accordance with section 10 or 42 [amendment of assessment roll] of the Assessment Act as those sections apply for the purposes of this section, or

(iii) an assessment roll prepared under an agreement referred to in subsection (2) (b) of this section in accordance with section 12 of the Assessment Act as that section applies for the purposes of this section,

(b) a reference to an owner in the provision is to be read as a reference to a person whose interests in real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation are subject to assessment by the treaty first nation,

(c) a reference to land or improvements or both in the provision is to be read as a reference to the interests in real property, within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation, that are subject to assessment by the treaty first nation,

(d) a reference to an assessment in the provision is to be read as a reference to an assessment as defined in subsection (1) of this section, and

(e) a reference to actual value or assessed value in the provision is to be read as a reference to value in accordance with a real property tax law of the treaty first nation.

Treaty first nation delegation

18   A treaty first nation may, by law and to the extent authorized by the treaty first nation's real property tax agreement, delegate the treaty first nation's authority under this Act, including its law-making authority.

Exemptions from treaty first nation taxation

19   (1) In this section, "local authority" has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Schedule to the Community Charter.

(2) The following interests in real property within the treaty lands of a treaty first nation are exempt from taxation by the treaty first nation:

(a) interests in real property vested in or held by the government or its agent;

(b) interests in real property vested in or held by a local authority;

(c) interests in real property vested in or held by the government or its agent jointly with a local authority;

(d) interests in real property vested in or held by a local authority jointly with another local authority.

Recovery of property taxes

20   (1) This section applies in relation to a real property tax law enacted under section 14 (1).

(2) If a real property tax law of a treaty first nation authorizes a tax sale, by public auction, of the fee simple or leasehold interest in real property, the law must provide for the giving of advance notice of the tax sale to all of the following:

(a) each person named in the tax roll in relation to the interest in real property subject to the tax sale;

(b) each person who holds a registered lien or charge on land subject to the tax sale;

(c) each person who is a registered owner of the interest in real property subject to the tax sale.

(3) If a real property tax law of a treaty first nation authorizes a tax sale, by public auction, or provides for forfeiture of the fee simple or leasehold interest in real property, the law must provide for both of the following:

(a) a right of redemption on payment of an amount owing by or on behalf of the person whose property is to be sold or forfeited;

(b) in the case of a sale, payment, by the treaty first nation to the person who was the registered owner of the property at the time of the sale, of the proceeds of the sale less all of the following:

(i) the total amount of costs in relation to the sale;

(ii) amounts owing;

(iii) amounts that are owing to creditors with priority over the registered owner;

(iv) amounts of unpaid fees referred to in section 21 (2) (b).

Special fees may be collected as property taxes

21   (1) In this section, "fee" means a fee imposed under a law of a treaty first nation for work done or services provided to real property within the treaty lands of the treaty first nation.

(2) A real property tax law of a treaty first nation may provide that a fee

(a) may be collected in the same manner as property taxes, and

(b) if unpaid, may be recovered in the same manner as an amount owing.

Alternative remedies

22   A real property tax law of a treaty first nation may provide that remedies available to the treaty first nation for the recovery of an amount owing to the treaty first nation or the recovery of a fee, as defined in section 21 (1), owing to the treaty first nation may be exercised separately, concurrently or cumulatively.

Authority to discontinue service

23   (1) A law of a treaty first nation may establish circumstances in which the treaty first nation may discontinue providing a utility or other service to specific real property or a specific person within its treaty lands

(a) because of unpaid property taxes or fees in relation to the service, or

(b) because of non-compliance with the rules established by a law of a treaty first nation or contract respecting the use of the service.

(2) A law under subsection (1)

(a) must provide for giving reasonable notice before the service is discontinued, and

(b) in relation to a discontinuation under subsection (1) (b), must include provision for the persons affected by the discontinuation to have an opportunity to make representations to the treaty first nation.

Provincial payments in relation to treaty first nation grants

24   (1) This section applies in relation to a treaty first nation for a taxation year in which the treaty first nation provides to persons resident within treaty lands a grant in place of a grant under the Home Owner Grant Act.

(2) In this section:

"eligible grant amount" means the lesser of the following:

(a) the total of all amounts each of which is an amount of a grant that a person resident on the treaty lands would have been entitled to apply for and receive under the Home Owner Grant Act had that person's interest in land and improvements within the treaty lands been subject to taxation under the School Act;

(b) the total of all amounts each of which is an amount of a grant that the treaty first nation provides to a person resident within treaty lands in place of a grant under the Home Owner Grant Act;

"school tax amount" means the total of all amounts each of which is an amount of taxes that would have been payable by the person resident on the treaty lands under the School Act had that person's interest in land and improvements within the treaty lands been subject to taxation under the School Act.

(3) In accordance with the real property tax agreement of a treaty first nation, the minister charged with the administration of the Financial Administration Act may pay, out of the consolidated revenue fund, to the treaty first nation for a taxation year the amount, if any, by which the eligible grant amount exceeds the school tax amount.

Application of Offence Act

25   Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Part.

Regulations

26   (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations in respect of any matter necessary for more effectively bringing into operation the provisions of this Part and for facilitating the transition from taxation by a treaty first nation under Part 1 of this Act to taxation by a treaty first nation under Part 2 of this Act.

(3) A regulation under subsection (2) may be made retroactive to a date not earlier than the date this section comes into force, and if made retroactive is deemed to have come into force on the specified date.

(4) The authority to make or amend a regulation under subsection (2), but not the authority to repeal a regulation under that subsection, ends on December 31, 2025.