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Olds offering tax incentives to attract businesses

Newor expanding

The Town of Olds is offering tax incentives to lure new investment or encourage existing businesses to expand.

Besides encouraging growth in the number and size of local businesses, it is hoped the economic development initiative will increase the town’s vibrancy and reduce the tax burden on residents and other property owners.

The program was passed by town council last month and kicked in at the beginning of February. It offers tax breaks on a sliding scale linked to the value of new investment.

The owner of a development that creates $100,000 to $250,000 in assessment growth will have a one-year municipal tax holiday. Assessment growth of $250,000 to $1 million will not have to pay municipal taxes for one year and get a 50 per cent break for another year. An investment creating assessment growth of $1 million to $10 million will get a 100 per cent tax exemption in the first year, 75 per cent in the second and 50 per cent in the third.

For major developments that add $10 million to $50 million in assessment growth, four years of tax breaks are offered on a sliding scale. For over $50 million, five years of tax breaks are available.

The exemption only applies to municipal taxes. School and seniors housing requisitions would still apply as usual. Linear properties, such as those containing pipelines, are not eligible.

Mayor Judy Dahl said she looked forward to the investment the incentive program might attract.

“Businesses play an essential role in every town, and in Olds we’re blessed with an especially strong, vibrant business community,” she said in a statement, adding “we hope this Business Tax Incentive Program will help support new and expanding businesses, as well as benefit taxpayers by growing our tax base.”

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