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Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy

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Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy

The Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Policy (TRIP) is a municipal tax cancellation policy intended to promote large scale projects involving the construction of new commercial, office, retail and mixed-use[1] buildings that lead to a significant and ongoing enhancement to the assessment base generated in the downtown core. Such projects must involve construction with a minimum value of $10 million.

[1]Mixed-use means: development that blends or functionally integrates a combination of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional land uses within a building or complex of buildings.

Background

In 2003, the City of Lethbridge created a program entitled the Downtown Redevelopment Incentive Policy (DRIP) to provide incentives to encourage the redevelopment of existing property in the Downtown.  The initial 2003 program was set to run for 5 years but was extended for an initial year to allow for an evaluation period.  2013 was the last year qualifying properties benefitted from the program. During the life of the program, 42 properties added over $6 million to the assessment base and shared nearly $500,000 of tax savings.  An evaluation of the program indicated that only 1% of Downtown businesses qualified for the program and it was subsequently phased-out.

The proposed TRIP differs from its predecessor, DRIP, in that it targets large scale redevelopment projects rather than upgrades to existing buildings. The TRIP will establish tax exemptions for major commercial/office/retail projects & mixed-use projects that lead to a significant and ongoing enhancement to the assessment base generated in the downtown core.

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

Eligibility and Application

To be eligible, a proposed project would have to meet the following criteria: 

  1. be new construction exceeding $10 million in construction value;
  2. be a minimum of 3 storeys; 
  3. meet or exceed the requirements of the Heart of our City Master Plan, Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (DARP)  and the Land Use Bylaw; and 
  4. receive approvals through development and construction permits through established regulatory processes. 

Proposed projects that involve renovations or additions to existing buildings will not be eligible for this program.

Incentive Program Application form can be found here.

Commencement

The tax cancellation would commence on year one of the project being approved for occupancy and ends on the fifth anniversary of the date occupancy was granted.

Related Documentation
TRIP Description
TRIP Eligibility Map
Adopted City Council TRIP Policy