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Non-profit property tax mitigation

Non-profit organizations that provide public facilities are generally exempt from property tax through the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation (AR281/98) (COPTER).

These property tax exemptions require that property and/or facility is actually used for an exempt purpose. Taking direction from a 2008 Court of Queen’s Bench decision (Edmonton (City) v. North Pointe Community Church, 2008 ABQB 110), exemptions based on use do not generally apply to properties and/or facilities that are under construction and not actually in use for an exempt purpose.

In December of 2014, Council passed the Non-Profit Tax Mitigation Policy that ensures tax cancellations for properties and/or facilities that are under construction in Calgary are conducted in an equitable and consistent manner through an open and transparent process. Under the policy, an application for cancellation is required.

Who is impacted?

The policy/program would apply to properties and/or facilities that qualify under the following sections in the MGA and COPTER, where “use” has been interpreted by the Court of Queen’s Bench not to include the construction period of the property and/or facility:

  • Sections 362(1)(k-m), 362(1)(n)(ii)-(iv), and 362(o) of the MGA, and
  • Sections 15(a)-(c) and 15(e)-(k) of the COPTER

How does the policy/program work?

Applicants are required to apply for consideration under the policy. The time period subject to cancellation is from the issuance of a building permit (provided an application has been submitted within the appropriate timelines) until the property is exempt, up to a maximum of four years.

Each applicant will continue to pay the regular municipal and provincial property taxes until the property and/or facility is completed and occupied, used for an exempt purpose, and determined to be exempt by The City. Upon exemption, City Administration will place the request for a cancellation of the applicable municipal taxes on a semi-annual report (usually May/June and October/November) to the Priorities and Finance Committee.
 
Retroactive cancellations are available as if the program was in operation on January 2013; meaning, if your organization paid taxes on a project that was under construction since that date, the municipal taxes paid over the construction period of the property and/or facility are subject to cancellation under the policy/program.

Applications deadlines for full cancellation

For a building permit issued between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014, the application deadline is Dec. 31, 2015. If an application for a building permit issued within the above time frame is received after the deadline of Dec. 31, 2015, the cancellation period will start in the calendar year the application was submitted.

For a building permit issued Jan. 1, 2015 or after, the application deadline is the calendar year in which the building permit was issued. If an application is received after the calendar year in which the building permit was issued, the cancellation period will start in the calendar year the application was submitted.

To apply, complete the application form and submit it by:

Email: assessment.exemptions@calgary.ca

Fax: 403-268-8278

Mail:

The City of Calgary, Assessment Business Unit IMC #8002
Customer and Governance Services
PO Box 2100, Station M, Calgary Alberta, T2P 2M5

Next steps

Once an application is received, it will be processed and qualifying organizations will be placed on the Assessment and Tax Circumstances report set to go to Council in the spring of the coming year.