Last month, Ric McIver, Alberta’s municipal affairs minister, signed a ministerial order that allowed some private affordable housing providers to be exempt from paying property taxes.
The regulation first made any property owned by Alberta Social Housing Corporation—a Crown corporation operated by the Ministry of Seniors and Housing—exempt from taxation.
3 Property that is owned by the Alberta Social Housing Corporation is exempt from taxation under section 361 (b) of the Act to the extent of 100% of its assessment.Social and Affordable Housing Accommodation Exemption Regulation, p. 1
This is similar to an exemption implemented by the NDP in 2017 for the Alberta Social Housing Corporation.
McIver’s regulation then went further than the NDP’s regulation by providing tax exemption for affordable housing providers or management bodies on any properties they purchase from the Alberta Social Housing Corporation.
4(1) A property or unit in a property purchased from the Alberta Social Housing Corporation by an affordable housing provider or management body is exempt from taxation under section 361 (b) of the Act to the extent of I 00% of its assessmentSocial and Affordable Housing Accommodation Exemption Regulation, pp. 1–2
However, for the property tax exemption to apply, the property must be used for affordable housing, be renovated or repaired for use as affordable housing, or sitting vacant but intended to be used for affordable housing.
One handy thing about a private company not having to worry about paying property taxes on its properties—even if it’s restricted to those it purchased from a Crown corporation—is that it reduces its overall expenses.
And anyone with a basic understanding of accounting realizes that lower expenses means higher profits.