Question Box: What is a Local Improvement Charge?

When buying a home you should not only review how much property taxes are, but also see if there are any local improvement charges.  LI charges could range from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars annually for a period of time.

There may be additional charges on your tax bill for previously approved local improvements.  A local improvement is a project that:

  1. Council considers to be of greater benefit to an area of the municipality than to the whole municipality, and
  2. is to be paid for in whole or in part by a tax imposed on the properties affected by the project.

To pay for a local improvement, once it is completed, the property owners can pay their portion in full, or in yearly amortized amounts, which will then be included in The City’s Property Tax Statements. Property owners may pay out the remaining principal plus accrued interest at any time during the amortization period.

Local improvements include new or replacement construction projects intended to upgrade specific areas in communities throughout the city.

Examples are:

  • street paving
  • driveway crossings
  • sidewalk replacement
  • lane paving
  • curb and gutter replacement.

Special Taxes

For homeowners in the communities of Christie Park, Patterson Hills, Citadel, Diamond Cove, Douglasdale, and Douglas Glen, a separate line item on your property tax bill will state Special Tax – Boulevard Maintenance or Enhanced Landscape Maintenance.

This special tax is a result of a successful community petition to The City of Calgary requesting enhanced landscape and boulevard maintenance. This is an annual levy requiring Council approval of a by-law.

For homeowners in these communities, please contact your community or residential association for further information.

(Source for above information: City Of Calgary website)

For more information, visit the City of Calgary website or read through their brochure below.

One response to “Question Box: What is a Local Improvement Charge?

  1. Alberta warns condo buyers about early planning contracts
    Edmonton Journal, May 4, 2011

    The Alberta government is warning prospective condo buyers to read “early planning agreements” carefully before signing contracts and handing over non-refundable deposits.

    Service Alberta spokesman Mike Berezowsky said the province has received complaints from homebuyers who signed the agreements, paid up to $1,000 to reserve a condominium and were unable to get their money back.

    “Obviously we are quite concerned,” Berezowsky said, adding that just a handful of homebuyers have so far complained to the province.

    “There is nothing illegal about the practice,” he said. “These weren’t contemplated when the legislation was last amended 10 years ago.”

    Early planning agreements are different from purchase agreements.

    Purchase agreements are covered by the Condominium Property Act, and the law gives buyers the right to cancel a purchase agreement within 10 days of signing.

    Early planning agreements are not covered by the act, so buyers have no right to cancel the contract and get their money back.

    Read the rest of the article here

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