The Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) program will give municipalities an alternate way of funding infrastructure projects to redevelop an area. The CRL program creates funding options for projects that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to finance through ordinary channels. It is meant to support the redevelopment of areas within an Alberta municipality where private sector development has been difficult to attract because of existing infrastructure or the condition of the land.
Redevelopment projects that use a CRL create jobs and attract new private sector investment to the surrounding area, resulting in an overall increase in property values and assessment.
“The CRL program has proven itself in certain circumstances to be useful for Alberta municipalities to invest in infrastructure and spur development. Recent changes to the program will help reduce risk while encouraging redevelopment. New development means more jobs and more livable communities for Albertans, as well as increased property tax revenues to support municipal services and K-12 education.”
Alberta’s government paused the CRL program in 2013 to ensure transparency, flexibility and accountability. The program has been upgraded and improved, and is open to applications once again. Recent changes to the program include:
- A three per cent cap on the total assessment base of a municipality that can be within all its combined CRL zones to ensure ongoing viability of the municipality.
- Opening the program to more areas to benefit the municipality through redevelopment (however, the program still excludes greenfield or previously undeveloped areas).
- Municipalities must include the amount of municipal and education taxes that will be directed into the CRL in their CRL bylaw to increase transparency.
- The CRL program has been in place since 2006. It was closed to new applications in 2013 for review.
- There are currently five established and active CRLs in Alberta:
- Calgary Rivers District (2006)
- Edmonton Quarters (2010)
- Edmonton Belvedere (2010)
- Edmonton Capital City Downtown (2013)
- Cochrane (2012)
- In 2022, the Municipal Government Act was amended as part the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act, 2022, allowing the Minister of Municipal Affairs to approve CRL bylaws and amendments, which helps to expedite approval time.
- In 2018, the Municipal Government Act was amended to allow CRLs to be active for up to 40 years.