Ridout Barron


New charter raises concerns before it is released

Both Edmonton and Calgary are working on drafting city charters. Neither one has yet been completed or released to the public. However, they are expected to address things like taxes in the city, fees that must be paid, and rules that corporations are going to have to follow. As a result, some of the developers and contractors are beginning to wonder about the specifics and how they could impact future projects.

Part of the issue is that increased revenue is said to be a main reason that each mayor wanted a charter in the first place. This indicates that taxes and fees could rise, which developers may then have to deal with going forward.

This is also going to be a big change because there are currently regulations that work across all of Alberta, in every town and city. These charters would override those regulations, giving the cities more power -- and more revenue, potentially -- than they had before. While developers must already contribute on many fronts to assist the city with infrastructure projects such as sewers and roads, the charters could add to that load.

Furthermore, developers have voiced concern about an increase in the amount of red tape that they have to get through when working on projects. This could slow projects down and change timetables.

All businesses in Alberta could be impacted by the new charter, so it is very important to watch for it to be officially released. Business owners have to know what new regulations are in place so that they can comply with the law.

Source: CBC News, "Alberta developers and builders concerned with city charters," Kyle Bakx, April. 28, 2015

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