A local improvement is a project that benefits your neighbourhood more than the municipality as a whole. It is typically undertaken near or adjacent your property and is paid, in whole or in part, by benefitting property owners through a local improvement tax.
A local improvement can be initiated by the City based on an infrastructure assessment and the need for repairs or replacement. Alternatively, it can be initiated by property owners who wish to have improvements carried out near or adjacent to their property. This is done formally via an Expression of Interest (EOI), where it must be proven the majority of property owners are in support before the local improvement will move forward.
Specific procedures and timelines vary depending upon the type of local improvement. The City mails such details to property owners in a Local Improvement Notice. Once the notice is issued, residents have 30 days to petition against the local improvement.
If no petition is submitted, the local improvement will move forward.
If a petition is submitted, it must be signed by a majority of affected residents in order to defeat the local improvement. A valid petition must include the signature of all titled owners. The titled owner signature must be witnessed and the witness must swear an affidavit before a Commissioner for Oaths.
If the petition protest is unsuccessful, City Council approves a Local Improvement Bylaw, after which construction must proceed within 5 years
If the petition protest is successful, the proposed improvement does not proceed
The cost of a local improvement project (in whole or in part) is distributed among the benefitting properties. The City borrows money to fund local improvement projects. The costs of construction and borrowing are then passed on to the property owners.
There are 5 typical roadway-related Local Improvements:
Local improvement charges — full payout option
For local improvement charges that have an expiry year, you may pay them out to avoid future interest charges.
Every year after the local improvement charge is applied to your account, the City will offer a payout option. If you would like to pay out your local improvement charges, submit a payment to the City of Edmonton for the full payout balance stated on your most recent local improvement charge notice, referencing your local improvement account number. The City can process payments of the full payout amount only.
Local Improvement charges with no expiry year can not be paid out.
Local improvement charges — annual payments
The full cost is amortized over a local serviceable lifetime, which varies based on the type of local improvement (usually between 5 and 20 years), with the payment and its interest added to your property taxes.
If your property has local improvement charges attached to it, you will receive a local improvement notice together with your property tax notice.
The local improvement charges stay with the property. Should you move, the payments become the responsibility of the new owner.