Thursday, September 23, 2021

Council hails Lax Kw'alaams Holdings Tax Agreement as first of many to come towards downtown revitalization

Lax Kw'alaams Holdings was granted a Five Year Property tax
holiday for their building on Third Avenue West on Monday,
That as Council welcomed them as a participant to their
recently introduced Downtown Revitalization program

Prince Rupert City Council quickly approved their first application for a Five year Tax exemption for property owners in the city's downtown area, the application part of their Tax Incentive program for downtown redevelopment

The program which was introduced earlier this year, will see Lax Kw'alaams Holdings take up the city's offer of a five year break on taxes. With the initiative put into motion for its recent redevelopment work at their new Community Hall facility located on Third Avenue West.

The City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben outlined in a report to Council how the property fit into the parameters of the city's policy.

"Staff have received the attached application and have determined it meets the eligibility requirement stipulated in the bylaw, with respect to the redevelopment of an existing building. 

There's no cost associated with authorizing this exemption save the opportunity cost foregone from the exemption of municipal taxes for five years on the non-market change, if any, that would be levied should there be an increase in assessment of the property.

This is in keeping with the purpose of the Revitalization Exemption Program."  --  CFO Corrine Bomben in a report Council on Monday evening   

Mayor Brain made note of the occasion of what he described as the first application to the program as part of his remarks following the report, the Mayor also expressing his belief that this agreement marks the first of what he expects will be many more to come.

"I anticipate we'll be seeing a lot more of these coming shortly." -- Mayor Lee Brain making note of the first application under the City's Tax Incentive program

Councillors Niesh and Cunningham also joined in on the enthusiasm for the initiative, sharing their hopes that it will lead to a revitalized downtown area including development of the city's many empty lots in the downtown core area.

"It's just nice to see that we've encouraged this type of development in the downtown, it's not right in the  core, it's off to one end of it. But hopefully other people will take advantage of this. And  I see there's a few other places downtown that are starting to renovate and that. 

Next I hope to see some development in the empty lots and that would be encouraging considering we've taken this initiative to give tax breaks for development." -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

While the Mayor saluted the Lax Kw'alaams Group for their application, he may have forgotten of a previous celebration he had earlier this year; noting at the time of the work in the downtown core further up Third Avenue West by the Git'gat on their own Community facility in Prince Rupert.  

Which the Mayor noted in February had qualified for the city's new program.

You can review the agreement with Lax Kw'alaams from the City's Agenda package of Monday evening, as well an opportunity to take in the Council discussion on the topic is available through the City's Video Archive, starting at the 26 minute mark.

More notes related to Monday's City Council Session can be found from our Council Timeline feature.

A wider overview of past Financial themes at City Hall is available from our archive here.

For more on previous Council discussions from past sessions see our Council Discussion page.

1 comment:

  1. Don't be so eager to take a victory lap.
    Keep the momentum going.
    Who's next in the pipeline?
    The city hosted developers recently, are there any potential opportunities that can be made public?
    Is there any plan to expropriate vacant lots by the city?
    How much revenue in fines were generated from unsightly commercial properties this year?
    What is the perception of downtown graffiti by residents? less, more, the same?