Kimberley begins program to attract business

Incentive program offers municipal tax breaks for development in light industrial park, brownfield sites.

The City of Kimberley wants to encourage business investment in commercial, industrial and brownfield properties and has introduced a new Investment Incentive Program to help attract business.

The program includes two types of municipal tax relief. The first is a program which would allow businesses 100 hundred per cent tax relief on increased property assessments due to improvements. Class 6 commercial projects will be eligible for 100 per cent relief for three years and Class 4 industrial projects will be eligible for relief for five years.

There are other BC communities who have taken advantage of this tax relief program allowable under the Community Charter, including Cranbrook.

However, Kimberley will be the first community to combine that tax relief with a relief program aimed specifically at brownfield redevelopment properties.

Anyone redeveloping a brownfield property, such as a former industrial site or gas station, would be eligible for a 50 per cent reduction on their municipal taxes while environmental investigation or remediation is taking place for a maximum of three years.

This does not include the school or hospital portion of municipal taxes.

“This program demonstrates the City’s commitment to being a partner in business,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “Now is the time to invest, while construction costs are relatively low, as well as the fact that Kimberley boasts zero development cost charges. The timing for this couldn’t be better as the City prepares to develop its light industrial property.

“I see this as a first step in opportunities to support business as much as we can. I see this as the beginning.”

“No development cost charges with a tax hiatus is a huge incentive to attract business,” said Coun. Don McCormick.

The industrial park the City plans to develop is a former brownfield site itself, having just gone through years of remediation. The Marysville site is 14.7 hectares.

Council gave the bylaw first three readings on Monday evening, and expects it to be implemented by early October.