City to Introduce Brownfield Tax Incentive Pilot
Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat is looking to pilot a brownfield tax incentive made available as part of the recent updates to the Municipal Government Act (MGA).
Under the new provisions, municipalities can grant multi-year tax exemptions, reductions or deferrals on specific brownfield properties.
Bylaw #4585, the Brownfield Tax Incentive Bylaw, will be considered by Council on April 15. If passed, the City would be one of the first municipalities in the Province to pass such a bylaw.
“This incentive is great news for the community, as it has the potential to encourage infill development, environmental remediation and community revitalization on properties that may not otherwise be attractive options for developers,” said Stan Schwartzenberger, Development & Infrastructure Commissioner.
Bylaw #4585 would establish a structure for applying the brownfield tax incentive. However, since this provision is new to the Province, the City wants an opportunity to evaluate that structure and set up some guiding principles, before considering additional brownfields.
“At this time, only two properties are being considered,” said Schwartzenberger. “We will be using these projects to help us establish criteria for properties moving forward.”
As part of the pilot, two City-owned properties that are subject to land deal negotiations have been identified as eligible: 603 First Street SE and the former Medicine Hat Arena.
“Development of these properties aligns with Council’s strategic priorities and the City’s efforts to revitalize the Downtown and River Flats communities,” said Schwartzenberger. “This bylaw would allow us to provide a tax incentive to facilitate development of these sites, while evaluating the process for potentially incentivizing redevelopment of other brownfield sites.”
A brownfield is a commercial or industrial property, other than designated industrial property, that is all of the following:
• contaminated or possibly contaminated;
• vacant, derelict or under-utilized; and
• suitable for development or redevelopment for the general benefit of the municipality.
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General Manager Finance
City of Medicine Hat