The Town of Ponoka released more details about its new property tax incentive program after it was approved during council’s regular meeting on Aug. 11.
The program, which aims to attract new residents to Ponoka, will offer property tax breaks and financial incentives to new home buyers in Ponoka, new residents who purchase an existing home in town and residents who complete major renovations on their existing home which result in an increased property assessment value of at least 50 per cent.
“It’s all about attracting new residents to our community and helping our local economy rebound from the negative impact of COVID-19 and the downturn in oil and gas prices,” said Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett in a news release.
“By attracting new residents, encouraging the construction of new houses and encouraging major renovations on existing homes, we can increase our tax and assessment base, and generate new revenue to help our community grow and thrive in the future.
“Attracting new residents also increases the number of people who shop at our local businesses, which helps build a stronger local economy.”
Apply starting Sept. 1
Applications for the New Resident Attraction and Incentive Program will be accepted beginning Sept. 1.
A marketing campaign promoting the program to potential new residents in larger urban centres outside of Ponoka, such as Edmonton, will also be launched in the coming weeks.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new work-from-home reality for many people which means they can live anywhere while working from home, including a smaller community where the cost of living is lower,” said Bonnett.
“The pandemic has ignited interest among city dwellers in the lifestyle offered by smaller communities where our COVID infection rates remain low, we have plenty of parks and green spaces, and there are no long line ups at our local stores.”
The marketing campaign will be targeted to those people, as well as promote the benefits of living in Ponoka, such as high-speed fibre optic Internet access, its scenic river valley trail system, its central location on Hwy. 2, and its proximity to larger centres.
The new program will offer the following tax breaks and financial incentives to new and existing residents in Ponoka for home sales and major renovations that are completed between March 15, 2020 and December 31, 2021:
- Buyers of newly-built homes that the owner occupies as their primary residence will receive a 75 per cent reduction on the municipal portion of their property taxes in Year 1 following the purchase of the new home; a 50 per cent reduction in municipal taxes in Year 2; and a 25 per cent reduction in municipal taxes in Year 3. This incentive will be available to new and existing residents of Ponoka;
- Buyers of resale homes who move into the home from a municipality outside of Ponoka will receive a one-time-per-property grant of $1000 the year after purchase, or $500 in the case of a manufactured home purchase in a manufactured home park; and
- Homeowners who complete major renovations on their existing home, resulting in at least a 50 per cent increase in the assessed value of that home, will receive a 75 per cent reduction on the increase in the municipal portion of their taxes in Year 1; a 50 per cent reduction in Year 2; and a 25 per cent reduction in Year 3. This incentive will be available to new and existing residents of Ponoka.
Application forms will be posted on the town’s website at www.ponoka.ca on Sept. 1. Paper copies will also be available at the town office.
– With a file from the Town of Ponoka