For Immediate Release
WHEATLAND COUNTY, October 2021 – On September 21st, Wheatland County Council approved Bylaw 2021-23 to offer a municipal tax incentive to large investors. Changes to the Municipal Government Act were implemented in June 2019 allowing municipalities to offer incentives to reduce, exempt, or defer the collection of property taxes for non-residential properties for up to 15 years. These changes bring Alberta in line with jurisdictions such as Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Louisiana, and Texas.
The bylaw provides eligible investments with a 40% exemption on municipal property tax for non-residential improvements, for 3 years from the first fully taxable year. “Eligible investors must have an increase in assessable improvements and/or machinery and equipment of $10,000,000 over the base assessment year. The bylaw applies to both new investments and expansions. Application and appeals processes are currently being developed by Wheatland County’s Assessment Division,” says General Manager of Corporate and Financial Services, Tracy Buteau.
“The tax incentive is a vital part of positioning Wheatland County as being the best investment destination for business. Wheatland County Council has been laser focused on cultivating an environment that fosters economic growth. This new tax initiative aligns with two of our Strategic Plan key priorities, Strong Economy and Sustainability, and is one tool in both our Business Attraction Strategy and our Business Retention and Expansion Strategy. It will contribute to financial sustainability of Wheatland County by diversifying our rural economy. This is an example of putting plans into action,” says Reeve Amber Link. Deputy CAO Matt Boscariol added that, “The new bylaw is related to increasing the non-residential tax base in Wheatland County, and signals that the County is open for business and serious about competing for large projects.”
Wheatland County will be the one of the first municipalities in Alberta to implement a municipal property tax incentive, adding to its attractiveness as a business location. The County is already known for having competitive property tax rates, low land prices, proximity to large urban centers, and excellent transportation options.
Reeve Link summarizes the bylaw by emphasizing that a critical outcome is job creation. “We need employment opportunities that are well paid, have prospects for career advancement, and will capitalize on our long-standing, strong work ethic that built Wheatland County. We need these opportunities to retain our youth. We know Wheatland County is the best place to live and work and we are making it the best place for businesses to locate and grow.”
For further information, visit https://wheatlandcounty.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bylaw-2021-23-Wheatland-County-Non-Residential-Tax-Incentive-Bylaw-signed-copy.pdf.
Jamie Kramble, Economic Development Officer