What is a local improvement levy?
A local improvement levy is imposed on a specific area within a municipality to fund a service or improvement that benefits that particular area rather than the whole municipality.
Some examples of local improvements are water or sewer line upgrades, lane lighting, or paving. The County has confirmed that a Local Improvement Levy can apply to the construction of a new fence.
Property owners or the County can initiate a Local Improvement Levy. In either case, the process – outlined below – is much the same.
Local improvement taxes are applied to the land. This means that the owner of the land is responsible for paying the Local Improvement Levy along with the annual property taxes. A Local Improvement Levy is applied as an annual charge for a set number of years, typically 15, 20 or 25.
Local improvement levies include the cost of financing but may be paid out in any year during the amortization period to avoid further interest charges.
Local Improvement Process:
This package must include a petition form, rates sheet, initial estimated cost, map statement of witness and affidavit. The person(s) who prepares the package is responsible for circulating and returning the completed petition package. The petition representative should be encouraged to review this document: Petition to Council Alberta
The petition must be circulated in person to obtain signatures from all affected property owners. To be valid, at least two-thirds of the affected property owners must sign in favour of the local improvement. All signatures must be obtained within a 60-day period.
Please note: the owner of multiple properties within the affected area will count as only one vote.
When the County receives a valid petition, a Notice of Intention letter is sent to all affected residents. This letter indicates:
Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process.
Petition Against packages are available only after a Notice of Intention letter has been received by affected property owners. Affected citizens have 30 days from the mailing date of this notice to appeal through the Petition Against process.
For a petition (for or against) to be sufficient, it must have:
• Support from 2/3 of the property owners liable to pay the Local Improvement Levy
• Validity of the petition is determined by the CAO of Sturgeon County
The County will work with interested residents to understand what is required for a valid petition
All proposed local improvement projects require Council approval. If the Local Improvement Plan passes the petition process, Sturgeon County Council can impose the Local Improvement Levy any time in the three years following the notice. Council can either pass the Bylaw before the final cost is determined or wait until the project is complete and the final costs are determined.