Municipal Partnering, Heritage, Riparian & Other Special Tax Exemptions

Municipalities have the authority to exempt eligible partnering, heritage, and riparian property from property taxation.

A municipal council may, by bylaw, provide a targeted tax exemption for heritage and riparian properties and properties used in relation a municipal service provided by an outside party under a partnering agreement. At a minimum, the exemption bylaw must establish the term of the exemption, and it may only be adopted by at least a two-thirds vote of all municipal council members and only after the issue of a public notice in accordance with Section 227 of the Community Charter.

  • Heritage Property: A heritage property is the a building (including land under and around the building) that is either a protected heritage property or subject to either a heritage revitalization agreement or a conservation land title covenant.
  • Riparian Land: Riparian land immediately borders streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. To be eligible for an exemption, riparian land must be subject to a riparian covenant under the Land Title Act, and must have the municipality listed as the covenantee (i.e. the party to which the covenant is made).
  • Partnering Agreement: A partnering agreement is an agreement between a municipality and an outside party (e.g. a business proprietorship, person, society, public authority, or corporation), whereby the outside party provides a service on behalf of the municipality (e.g. municipal garbage collection service provided under agreement by a private refuse company). Any property owned by the outside party (subject to the partnering agreement) and used for the purposes of providing the underlying service may be eligible for a partnering tax exemption.

Other miscellaneous property covered under this authority include cemeteries and golf courses.

A municipal council may enter into a separate agreement with a property owner eligible for a heritage, riparian, partnering, or miscellaneous property exemption regarding the following:

  • Extent of the exemption
  • Any conditions under which the exemption will be offered (for example, requiring a restrictive covenant on the property)
  • Consequences if any conditions are violated (for example, repayment of a predetermined amount)

Most municipal tax exemptions automatically trigger an exemption from all other property taxes levied by the municipality for other public authorities (for example, school and hospital taxes). However, for cemeteries, golf courses and partnering properties, the exemption from other taxes is not automatically triggered. To be eligible for the broader exemptions, the municipality must request an exemption from the Ministry of Finance. The broader exemption may only be granted through an order-in-council of Cabinet.

Tax Exemption Policies & Procedures

All municipalities are required to develop overarching objectives and policies within their five-year financial plans in relation to the use of permissive tax exemptions.