CK council eyes tax breaks to grow community

Council prepares for the first night of budget deliberations in Chatham on January 28, 2019 (Photo by Allanah Wills)

Chatham-Kent councillors are all set to talk about tax incentives to attract business and grow the community.

Council will lay out a plan to promote investment in key sectors of the community during a public meeting on March 2 during the planning portion of the council session.

If approved by council, the plan will provide property tax relief in some circumstances for the development of new large residential apartment buildings with over 50 units, affordable housing, industrial development and commercial projects.

“I’m excited about having the ability to use incentives to help reduce our rental housing shortage and stimulate industrial development,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “Other Ontario communities are using these types of tools very successfully.”

Chatham-Kent General Manager of Community Development John Norton said the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) follows council’s decision in late 2018 designating the entire Municipality of Chatham-Kent as a Community Improvement Project Area and it aligns with the Chatham-Kent Growth Strategy and council’s 2018-2022 term priorities.

“We believe the CIP is a result of listening to the community and potential investors and developing something that meets the needs of both,” said Norton. “I expect it will stimulate growth and help Chatham-Kent realize its potential.”

Norton said for several years, the municipality has offered a wide range of business development services and programs to help stimulate private sector investment that has resulted in business attraction, retention and expansion, generated jobs and created new opportunities but it’s time for incentives that are project-based and reflect investment in areas of greatest need in the community.

Written submissions supporting or opposing the plan should be mailed to Municipality of Chatham-Kent Planning Services, 315 King Street West, Box 640, Chatham ON N7M 5K8. Those who wish to address council about this matter are asked to notify the Municipal Clerk by calling 519-360-1998 before the meeting.

Copies of the plan are available at municipal service centres during business hours. An online copy of the plan can be found here.