Revitalization Tax Incentives authorized by Section 226 of the Community Charter can be used to encourage community economic development. Municipal councils have the authority to exempt property (land and/or improvements) from municipal property value taxes.
What to Consider
A Revitalization Tax Inventive can be used to encourage and achieve a range of environmental, economic or social objectives. Economic revitalization might include encouraging investment and employment.
Revitalization tax exemptions are limited to municipal property value taxes [Section 197(1)(a) of the Community Charter only] and do not extend to school and other property taxes or parcel taxes. An exemption may be granted for up to 10 years. This tool is not available to regional districts.
How to Proceed
- In order for a Council to adopt a community revitalization bylaw, the bylaw must:
- Define reasons for and objectives of the program;
- Describe how the program intends to achieve the objectives;
- Describe eligible properties;
- Describe the extent and amounts of the exemption; and
- Describe the term of the exemption.
- A revitalization program bylaw may be adopted after providing notice and council has considered the bylaw in the context of its property tax exemption policies in the Financial Plan.
- Council must:
- Enter into agreements with property owners, and then exempt their property from taxation once all specified conditions of the program and the agreement have been met;
- Exemptions may apply to the value of land or improvements, or both; and
- Issue certificate to the individual owner once all conditions in the bylaw and the agreement have been met.
The Official Community Plan for the City of Chilliwack identified the revitalization of the downtown as a priority. In 2004, the Community Charter was introduced, offering a new revitalization tax exemption opportunity. As a result of this, the City of Chilliwack established a downtown revitalization tax exemption program. Council may now enter into an agreement with property owners within the designated areas and upon issuance of an exemption certificate to the assessor, those improvements are exempt from municipal property value taxes for a period of time not longer than five years, and with a single renewal period of one year (year 6).
The annual estimated municipal property tax exemption per each $100,000 of assessment at the 2011 tax rates are as follows: Class 1 - Residential $433; Class 6 - Business $963
For more information, contact the City of Chilliwack at 604-792-9311 or by email.
- Province of British Columbia: Amendments to Municipal Financial Plans and Revitalization Tax Exemptions.
- Province of British Columbia: Revitalization Tax Exemptions: A Primer on the Provisions in the Community Charter, January 2008.
- Province of British Columbia: Permissive Tax Exemptions.
- Economic Development Division Webinar Series: Service Station Redevelopment (December 9, 2009).
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Canada Green Building Council