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Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy

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Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy

The Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy (TRIP) has recently been revamped by City Council to include:

  • New construction projects as well as significant renovation projects which would incentivize owners of existing buildings to undertake adaptive reuse measures such as: addition of existing floors; installation of above or below grade parking; asbestos removal; fire suppression installation (sprinklers); universal access measures such as installation of elevators; installation of new electrical systems, façade improvements; combinations of these elements
  • Lowering the minimum, verified construction value from $10 million to $1 million;
  • Creation of a range of investment thresholds that provide for a stepping of benefits which reward larger investments with greater municipal tax cancellation amounts and applicability timeframes;
  • Changing the current 5 year applicability timeframe to create a 6 year to 11 year range;
  • Increasing the total municipal tax cancellation benefit for any single project to $4 million; and
  • Lowering the minimum 3 storey requirement to 2 stories.
The revised TRIP may also have the effect of incentivizing the preservation of existing historic or heritage buildings which might otherwise be leveled to facilitate totally new construction.​

Background

A new policy to replace the DRIP was created in 2015 and the focus at that time was to target larger scale redevelopment projects rather than upgrades to existing buildings. The Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy or TRIP established tax exemptions for major commercial/office/retail projects & mixed-use projects that would lead to significant and ongoing enhancement to the assessment base generated in the downtown core. The base-line for investment was $10 million which would have seen a $2 million municipal tax cancellation over a 5 year period.

Unfortunately no qualify projects came forward while at the same time other worthwhile projects of lesser value were being discussed. These projects included both new construction and substantial renovation to existing buildings. Bearing this in mind, City Council decided to revamp the 2015 TRIP to be more responsive to current conditions.​

A copy of the Heart of our City Incentive Program Policy can be found here.

Eligibility and Application

In order to qualify under this policy, a project shall be subject to the following criteria:

  1. Qualified projects shall be located within the Downtown Core Area
  2. Projects shall consist of either new building construction or significant renovation construction in accordance with the following table:
    ​​Table 1 ​ ​

    Verified Minimum

    Construction Value

    Incentive Period

    Maximum Municipal Tax Cancellation

    Rebate

    $1,000,000 - $3,999,999  5 years$550,000
    $4,000,000 - $5,999,999  6 years$1,000,000
    $6,000,000 - $7,999,999  7 years$1,500,000
    $8,000,000 - $9,999,999  8 years$2,500,000
    $10,000,000 - $11,999,999  9 years$3,000,000
    $12,000,000+10 years$4,000,000​
  3. Eligibility for this tax cancellation policy will commence in the year construction begins
  4. Projects are required to provide a minimum floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.0
  5. Projects shall meet or exceed the requirements of the Heart of Our City Master Plan and the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP)
  6. Construction must meet all applicable building safety codes, development requirements and comply with Land Use Bylaw requirements upon completion
  7. Project(s) will require land use approval through a development permit and construction approvals through the appropriate building, electrical and mechanical permits
  8. The maximum municipal tax cancellation rebate for each approved building construction project shall be in accordance with the Table over the 11-year period
  9. Tax rebates will be prorated to the date of project approval at which time the applicable incentive period shall commence
  10. Only the registered owner(s) of the property, at the time of commencement of the building construction project approval, is/are eligible for the municipal tax cancellation
  11. To be eligible, a property must not be in arrears in taxes, municipal utilities or any other municipal charge
  12. This policy applies only to the municipal portion of the tax levy and all requisitions shall be payable by the person or entity liable for the property tax
  13. Projects that qualify under this program are ineligible for any other City of Lethbridge downtown incentive program

Incentive Program Application form can be found here.

Awarding of Incentive

  • The revamped TRIP will commence on July 31, 2017
  • Eligible properties are entitled to a municipal property tax cancellation from 6 to 11 years based on construction value and in accordance with Table 1.
  • Supplementary tax rebate only applies if the completion of the project occurs within the incentive period in Table 1.
  • “As Built” project costs must be approved by the Planning and Development Department and forwarded to the Assessment and Taxation Department to be eligible for this program.
  • In no instance shall the monetary value of the municipal tax cancellation amount in any year exceed the total amount of the increase in municipal taxes due to the work claimed under this policy.
  • ​The total municipal tax cancellation value for any single project receiving a benefit from this policy will be a maximum of $4 million.

Related Documentation
TRIP Eligibility Map
Adopted City Council TRIP Policy