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Regular Council Meeting Agenda
C-1156-21 - 2021 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw - Second Reading - Frostad
Strategic Vision Element:
This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan
Spruce Grove has a robust, growing economic base that generates increased revenues to support the City’s high standards for services and programs.
Request for Decision Summary
Second reading of Bylaw C-1156-21 - 2021 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw is being brought forward for Council's consideration. Bylaw C-1156-21 will require the preparation of assessments for the purpose of imposing a tax on all taxable businesses operating within the City Centre Business Improvement Area. A Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw is required when a Business Improvement Area has been established within the municipality and must first be in place for Council to authorize a Business Improvement Area Tax Rate Bylaw.
That second reading be given to Bylaw C-1156-21 - 2021 Business Improvement Area Tax Bylaw.
The City Centre Business Association (CCBA) held their 2020 Annual General Meeting on September 9, 2020, at which the Board of Directors gave approval to the proposed 2021 budget. The following month, as required by legislation and as a part of the City's corporate planning process, Council accepted the proposed 2021 budget which included $32,000 to be raised through taxation of the taxable businesses operating within the boundaries of the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and incorporated this amount into the City's 2021-2023 Corporate Plan which was approved in November 2020. When a BIA has been established, prior to May of each year, Council must pass a BIA tax bylaw to authorize the assessment and taxation of all taxable businesses operating within the boundaries of the BIA. This bylaw must first be in place for Council to authorize the annual Business Improvement Area Tax Rate Bylaw.
The process for establishment of a BIA is governed by the Business Improvement Area Regulation 93/2016. Establishment is initiated by a request to Council signed by the persons who would be liable for payment of a BIA tax, and must represent a minimum of 25 per cent of the businesses that would be taxable if an area was established. A municipality is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure written notice of the request to establish is mailed or delivered to every business within the proposed area. A petition to Council in objection of the establishment is sufficient if signed by persons who represent more than 50 per cent of the would be taxable businesses and is filed with the chief administrative officer (CAO) within 60 days of the written notice of the request to establish was mailed or delivered to the businesses within the proposed area. If a sufficient petition is declared by the CAO, Council may not consider the same request until two years have passed from the day the petition was declared sufficient.
In January 2016, City Council received a request for establishment signed by 68 per cent of the businesses that would be taxable if an area was established. No petition in objection of establishment was filed and in August 2016, the City Centre Business Improvement Area was established by Bylaw C-966-16.
The Business Improvement Area Regulation 93/2016 also provides multiple processes for disestablishment of a BIA. Taxpayers within the area may petition for a bylaw to disestablish. In order to be sufficient, the petition must be signed by persons representing minimum 25 per cent of the taxable businesses. Within 30 days of the CAO declaring a petition to be sufficient, Council must give first reading to a bylaw to disestablish, specify a date within 90 days after the bylaw receives first reading for a vote of the taxpayers within the BIA, and specify the question that is to appear on the ballot for the vote. The date on which the bylaw is to take effect must be at least six weeks after the date of the vote. Disestablishment may also be initiated through Council on its own initiative or through Council at the request of the area's board. In either case, the process for the bylaw, vote and effective date are the same as with initiation by sufficient petition.
Administration has scheduled the preparation of the Combined BIA Assessment and Tax notices in April. Once Council has approved the necessary bylaws, notices will be prepared and issued to the businesses recorded on the
Assessment Roll. Businesses referred to in section 351 or 375 of the Municipal Government Act are exempt from taxation (i.e. churches, non-profit organizations).
City Administration will manage billing inquiries. BIA tax levies will be due on June 30 after which financial reporting will be provided to the City Centre Business Association as a tool to assist engagement with businesses with unpaid levies to understand membership concerns and inform on future opportunities. As per the discussions at Council on March 8th, the City will begin implementing the process for withholding business licenses from businesses that are in payment arrears. Specifically, once a business account is in arrears after one year, the City will issue a letter with the BIA levy notice for the following year that unless payment in full is made prior to December 31st of that year, the City will withhold renewal of the business license until payment is made.
$32,000 has been paid to the association for the 2021 approved requisition.