Jun 26, 2012 / 3:43 pm
Growth, or a lack of it, in both the downtown and Rutland cores continues to be a concern at City Hall.
City Council made another attempt to spur on growth in those two areas by expanding the Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw boundaries.
In simple terms, the bylaw given developers a 10-year municipal tax exemption on the increased value of property being developed within those boundaries.
The tax exemption is anywhere between 50 per cent and 100 per cent of the tax difference depending on the type of development and where that development falls within the boundaries.
"It's a tax loophole for the short term, but in the long term it's a great thing for the city," stated Councillor Andre Blanleil in supporting the boundary extension.
"I think it's key to get the city moving in the downtown core which is where we want to see some redevelopment. We haven't had any major building in most of these areas in a number of years, even when the boom was on."
The Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw was originally established in 2006 and encompassed blocks bounded by Bernard Avenue, Water Street, Abbott Street and Harvey Avenue.
Long Range Planning Manager, Gary Stephen, says from 2006 to 2011 there were no development proposals within the original boundaries.
Those boundaries were expanded and the tax exemption changed in July of last year.
Stephen proposed a third revision Monday.
"Staff are recommending some changes be made to the Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw to expand the boundary of the City Centre Tax Incentive area north to Doyle Avenue between Water Street and the lane between Bertram and St. Paul Street," says Stephen.
This new area would qualify for a 100 per cent tax exemption if the new space being added is at least 40,000 square feet, or a reduced exemption (50 to 75 per cent) for commercial or residential projects under 40,000 square feet.
"It is also recommended that the reduced incentives be made available to the remainder of the City centre. The incremental tax incentive would be 50 per cent of the new space being added if the space being added is at least 40,000 square feet."
Stephen says the tax exemption programs help to stimulate development in an area that is at a competitive disadvantage.
"The disadvantage is that the reduce taxation revenue which makes it difficult to fund amenities and the infrastructure that is critical to the long term success of urban centres," says Stephen.
Councillor Luke Stack says he hopes these latest incentives will start attracting more core business into both Rutland and the downtown.
"I like the fact it's a larger area, I like the fact the incentives are more attractive," says Stack.
"I think for the first time some of the business community are starting to notice that there are incentives out there.
Read more Kelowna News
City of Kelowna
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Central Okanagan Regional District
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
- Liberal triumph good for business May 15
- Mission Creek flood watch lifted May 14
- Paving coming to a road near you May 14
- Two-wheel transportation turns the tide May 14
- Capital spending may top $500M by 2020 May 14
- Kelowna Council highlights May 13
- Water Quality Advisory - Black Mountain May 13
- May Day parade set for Saturday May 13
- Flood Watch May 13
- Week in Review May 12