City Charters will help make the work done by city administrations more efficient. With less red tape, both cities will have greater freedom to innovate and make local decisions. Charter proposals in this area fall under three themes:
Modernization of assessment processes
- Alberta has a fair system for municipal taxes and assessment.
- Work will be done through the charters to explore giving the two cities more flexibility to administer the assessment system.
Examples of policy proposals under this theme:
- Allow cities to post school support declaration forms online rather than mailing paper copies to all residents.
- Enable the use of a web portal for sending and receiving notices and other assessment and tax communications.
- Clarify that assessors may use digital photographs and other electronic information gathering methods.
- City Charters aim to make the work at city hall and the roles of city hall more clear and easy to understand.
- The aim is to reduce duplication, use resources more efficiently, and help the cities make the best decisions for their citizens.
- Set up a municipal tribunal to manage transit and parking bylaw offense challenges and payments, rather than diverting such cases to provincial court.
- Enable the cities to pass bylaws to change opening and closing hours at liquor stores, and to regulate “happy hours.”
- Allow councils to create weed-control bylaws and change noxious weed designations without needing the approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
- Allow for online notification in certain property rezoning circumstances rather than written notices.
- City Charters would provide more clear and consistent information about technical aspects of tax assessments.
- Clarify that environmental reserve is assessed on a vacant parcel at the time of subdivision.
- Make for-profit uses in exempt spaces taxable, including commercial spaces in universities and hospitals.