WHAT ARE LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS?
A local improvement is a project, approved by County Council, which is considered a greater benefit to a specified area within a municipality, rather than to the whole municipality. Some common examples include water and sewer infrastructure. It is typically undertaken near or adjacent to your property, and is paid in whole or in part by benefitting property owners through a local improvement tax.
A local improvement charge indicates the annual amount a property owner is required to pay to the County over a specified number of years, for project costs constructed in the benefiting areas.
HOW ARE LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS GOVERNED?
Sections 391 to 409 of the Municipal Government Act are the Provincial statutory guidelines for the administration of local improvements.
WHO MAY INITIATE A LOCAL IMPROVEMENT?
A local improvement can be initiated by the County based on an infrastructure assessment and the need for repairs or replacement. Alternatively, Property Owners who wish to have improvements carried out near or adjacent to their property can petition to have the improvement completed. It must be proven that the majority property owners support the local improvement (from a simple majority to 2/3 support, depending on the type of local improvement) in order for the local improvement to move forward. In either case, the County will send a notice to each affected property owner.
WHO IS ASSESSED FOR LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS?
Every property benefiting from a local improvement shares in the cost even if they have not signed the petition.
HOW DO I PETITION AGAINST A LOCAL IMPROVEMENT?
If you have received notification of a proposed local improvement and you are opposed to the construction, please contact Municipal Services at 403-794-2311.
HOW IS THE ASSESSMENT DETERMINED?
Funding for the local improvement is generally borrowed by the County and repaid by the affected assessed owners.
Property owners have the option of paying this cost in one lump payment, thereby saving interest charges, or they may choose to pay the amount over an extended period (usually 10 to 20 years) with interest which is added to the annual property tax bill.
DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY THE LOCAL IMPROVEMENT TAX IF I MOVE?
No. The local improvement tax stays with the property and the remaining payments become the responsibility of the new owner.
DO I HAVE TO PAY IF I DON’T SUPPORT THE LOCAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT?
If the majority of property owners in the residential area support the local improvement and County Council passes the bylaw, all owners affected must pay. When property owners receive notice about proposed local improvements in their area, they have a 30-day period to petition the project.