Revitalization Tax Exemptions (RTEs)

Community type: 



Let's Go Downtown (RTEs)

Many BC communities have well-preserved historic downtowns and main streets. These areas often exemplify the type of compact, centralized, mixed use development that many communities encourage in their OCPs and other land use policies. However, through years of neglect and competition with shopping malls and big box retail, many of BC’s downtowns lack economic and aesthetic vitality.

The Community Charter was changed to make it easier for green development to apply for RTEs

But that’s not the end of the story. With growing awareness of the perils of unchecked low-density suburban development, downtown revitalization is being taken up as an effective way to promote smart growth, and Revitalization Tax Exemptions (RTE) can help make it happen.

By revitalizing areas that are central, connected and compact, local governments are taking climate action by reducing car dependence and infrastructure costs.

The story gets even better. In 2007, the Community Charter [R545], which establishes authority to create RTE bylaws, was changed to make it easier for green development to apply for RTEs. Previously, local governments had to establish a revitalization area, with RTEs only available to properties within this area.

Now, local governments can establish an RTE bylaw that would encourage green development across the jurisdiction, not only within a targeted revitalization area. Green development features, such as high performance or efficiency buildings, streamside protection measures, integrated stormwater management, and brownfield redevelopment could all be encouraged through an RTE policy [1].

Community Examples

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[1] Revitalization Tax Exemptions: A Primer on the Provisions in the Community Charter. 2008. Ministry of Community Services, Government of BC