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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Brownfields Financial Tax Incentive Program?
  2. The Brownfields Financial Tax Incentive Program (BFTIP) is a provincial funding program that provides matching education property tax assistance to eligible brownfield property owners under section 365.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001. Assistance provided through BFTIP is conditional upon, and is matched to, brownfield property tax assistance that is provided by a municipality.

  3. Who can apply for matching education property tax assistance through the Brownfields Financial Tax Incentive Program?
  4. Municipalities apply to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on behalf of a brownfield property owner for this program.

    A property owner interested in BFTIP should contact the local municipality or official.

    To be eligible for BFTIP, a property must have had a phase two environmental site assessment. The assessment must have determined that the property is in need of environmental remediation (which, in this context, means the property needs action taken to meet appropriate standards under the Environmental Protection Act).

    An eligible property must also be included in a community improvement project area for which a Community Improvement Plan, with tax assistance provisions contained in the plan, is in effect.

  5. If a municipality is interested in using BFTIP, what should be included in their Community Improvement Plan (CIP)?
  6. For program purposes, a by-law adopting a CIP must contain a reference to the effect that section 365.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 enables municipalities to provide municipal property tax assistance in connection with a community improvement plan, and Minister of Finance approval is required before matching education property tax assistance will be provided.

  7. What are eligible costs under BFTIP? Are they the same as municipal eligible costs? Can this affect how I receive my assistance?
  8. As stated in the application form, eligible costs for provincial matching education property tax assistance are:

    • Any action taken to reduce the concentration of contaminants on, in, or under the property to permit a Record of Site Condition (RSC) to be filed;
    • Compliance with any Certificate of Property Use issued under the Environmental Protection Act;
    • Environmental consultant fees; and/or
    • Property insurance during the remediation period.

    There can be differences between municipal and provincial programs. A municipality may decide that costs under its tax assistance program are eligible, but those costs may not be considered eligible under BFTIP. Accordingly, the timing of and conditions for municipal and provincial assistance may vary.

  9. How long can matching education property tax assistance be provided to a property owner through the program?
  10. Municipal applications to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for matching education property tax assistance are considered on a case-by-case basis. Matching education property tax assistance may be granted for up to three years.

    Prior to termination of matching education tax assistance, a municipality may make a case to the Province for an extension.

  11. Under what conditions will matching education property tax assistance (education property tax assistance) end before the date specified in a by-law?
  12. Matching education property tax assistance could end in relation to an eligible property in situations such as:

    • if the eligible property is severed, subdivided, sold or conveyed at any time after the owner makes an application to the municipality; or
    • if the owner of the eligible property fails to meet any legal requirement that applies to the owner or to the property in connection with municipal or matching education property tax assistance.

  13. How is the municipal portion of property taxes matched under BFTIP?
  14. Matching is proportional. For example, if a municipality cancels 50% of municipal property taxes, then the Province, generally, would consider providing tax assistance in the form of a similar 50% cancellation in the education portion of the property tax.

    In circumstances where there is an upper-tier municipality, the upper-tier has the option of supporting the lower-tier tax assistance program by cancelling all, or a portion of the taxes levied for upper-tier municipal purposes.

  15. Is it possible to flow assistance under section 365.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 to the remediating property owner in respect of property that has already been sold?
  16. Section 365.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 allows for tax assistance in the form of a property tax deferral or cancellation. Under the program a deferral or cancellation of taxes is only provided directly to the original property owner. Accordingly, under the program, matching education property tax assistance will end for an eligible property in cases where the property is severed, subdivided, sold or conveyed.

  17. Can the ‘outstanding balance’ (the maximum amount of matching education property tax assistance that might apply in relation to an eligible property) be converted to a grant in the event that tax assistance is terminated? What if an eligible property is sold before all rehabilitation and development activities have been completed?
  18. There is no provision in the provincial tax assistance program for grants, as the program does not provide for direct payments, only for a cancellation or deferral of municipal and education taxes.

  19. What is the difference between BFTIP education property tax assistance and a Tax Increment Equivalent Grant (TIEG) program?
  20. The difference between tax assistance under BFTIP and a TIEG is that taxes are cancelled or deferred on the tax rolls for BFTIP. TIEG and similar programs are arrangements where an amount equivalent to taxes is granted back to a property owner or other eligible recipient.

    There is no provision in the provincial tax assistance program for grants, as the program does not provide for direct payments, only for a cancellation or deferral of municipal and education taxes