Mike Hockley photo

City of Trail reviving tax incentives for businesses

Tax break for major renovations and new construction

Based on the success of previous programs, the City of Trail is offering businesses a tax break for new projects or major renovations.

Dubbed the Revitalization Tax Exemption Program, the goal is to encourage private sector investment in commercial building projects.

“The program’s model is based on similar City of Trail tax exemption programs that ran from 2013 to 2017,” said Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin. “The programs had very successful uptakes with 35 projects with a total construction value of over $8.8 million. The building and business enhancements that resulted from these programs have created a positive outlook and sense of excitement for the city’s future.

“We hope this continues with our newly implemented program.”

There are a few differences between the previous programs and this one.

The initial program, called the Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw, offered tax breaks for up to 10 years on new construction or renovations exceeding $10,000.

The former program also limited the scope of the exemptions to downtown, the Gulch and East Trail.

The new program is for all Class 6 (Business) properties within the city’s municipal boundaries. The threshold for the new program is a $50,000 minimum construction value and the tax exemption is for five years.

Property owners of Class 6 (Business) properties undertaking new construction or renovations with a minimum construction value of $50,000 in the years 2019 through 2022 are eligible to apply for the program.

The breakdown on the tax exemptions is as follows:

New commercial developments: 100 per cent municipal property tax exemption on increases in assessment value* attributable to the construction project for five years.

*applies to building improvements and land.

Commercial renovations and façade improvements: 100 per cent municipal property tax exemption on increases in assessment value** attributable to the construction project for three years, followed by 60 per cent property tax exemption in Year 4 and 40 per cent property tax exemption in Year 5.

**applies to building improvements only.

The press release stated that offering a revitalization tax exemption program also demonstrates the city’s commitment to supporting local economic development and provides a competitive advantage.

“Some of the neighbouring municipalities offer similar programs,” said Pasin. “It’s important that Trail is positioned as an attractive community for commercial investment and development with a reasonable business property tax rate.”

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