Development charges returning to St Catharines

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Published September 20, 2021 at 3:51 pm

St. Catharines City Council recently approved the re-introduction of development charges, saying it provides a more balanced approach where growth pays for growth, rather than the burden of growth-related infrastructure falling to the taxpayer.

St. Catharines is currently the only municipality in Niagara that does not collect lower-tier development charges. 

For 12 years, this put the City at a competitive advantage and encouraged growth and interest in the community.  However, most growth-related infrastructure built in that time was primarily funded from the tax levy and/or water/wastewater rates.

While the revenue will depend on development levels, a consultant hired to conduct the study has indicated the City could potentially collect millions of dollars in development charges on an annual basis to support infrastructure costs related to development and redevelopment.

“Years ago, the City of St. Catharines made a smart decision to attract investment and redevelopment and now, the time has come for Council to make another smart decision that better reflects the current state of investment attraction in St. Catharines,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik.

“This is a fair, balanced approach that will ensure that the costs of new development do not fall to the taxpayer and that growth will pay for growth in the future. Development charges will better position the City to invest in infrastructure and public realm improvements that benefit everyone.”

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