Image: Town of Ponoka

Ponoka invites people to move in with updated incentive program

Policy changed to lower assessment threshold for major renovations

Those wanting to settle in a smaller town and enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle can move to Ponoka — and get paid to do so.

The Town of Ponoka has made changes to its new Resident Attraction and Incentive Program so more residents can qualify for the program when it comes to major home renovations. The program also gives a grant to buyers of resale homes.

Together, the incentives aim to attract people to Ponoka by giving property tax breaks to new residents of Ponoka and for those who build new homes in town or raise their property value through renovations.

The program was approved by council on Aug. 11, however, council and administration felt some changes were needed.

READ MORE: Details of new tax incentive program rolls out

“In writing the policy [that administers the program] we realized there were two parts of the assessment increase that we would like to see changed as part of it,” said Laura Brochu of corporate services during her presentation to council on Sept. 1.

When the program was approved, residents would have had to increase their property value by 50 per cent to qualify for the program, and that threshold has now been lowered to 20 per cent and has excluded land from the assessment value calculation.

Brochu’s presentation included data and examples of past major renovations completed by residents, and showed if improvements would meet the threshold with the different qualifying percentages, as well as with and without the value of land.

“As you can see, the numbers really don’t suit that 50 per cent.”

Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett agreed.

“That was one of the things when it came out; I thought 50 per cent was a little steep,” said Bonnett.

The program gives a 75 per cent tax reduction on the municipal tax increase in the first year, 50 per cent in the second year, and 25 per cent in the third year, for residents who complete renovations between March 15, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Sandra Lund, general manager of corporate services, says giving the tax breaks has no budgetary impact for the town, as it is a tax decrease on the improvement only.

“I’m extremely impressed by what you’ve presented tonight,” said Coun. Teri Underhill.

“You gave me numbers, you gave me logic, I am extremely happy and I like what you’re presenting — I fully support it.”

The program has already seen some success, with five new residents moving to Ponoka since the program was launched, coming from larger urban centres such as Edmonton and Calgary.

The town has also started to receive applications from residents who are completing major renovations.

“It’s exciting to see that the program is working,” said Bonnett in a news release.

“By attracting new residents, encouraging the construction of new houses and encouraging major renovations on existing homes, Ponoka is increasing its tax and assessment base, and generating new revenue to help our community grow and thrive into the future.

“Attracting new residents also increases the number of people who shop at our local businesses, which helps build a stronger local economy.”

New residents will also receive grants for moving to Ponoka.

Buyers of resale homes who move to Ponoka can qualify for a one-time-per-property New Resident Grant of $1,000, or $500 for a manufactured home purchased in a manufactured home park as well under the new program.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Town of Ponoka

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Image: Town of Ponoka

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Coun. Ted Dillon receives a certificate for 30 years of service from Ponoka County Regional Fire Services Chief Dennis Jones. (Photo submitted)
Ponoka councillor recognized for 30 years’ fire service

Coun. Ted Dillon presented with certificate at Oct. 13 council meeting

File photo
Bantam Broncs lose tight 42-38 game to the Titans

The Bantam Broncs played an offensive shootout game against the Drumheller Titans… Continue reading

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

Most Read