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The incentive program offers tax credits to property owners that undertake major restoration work. Those tax credits are comparable to incentives offered to individuals who undertake new construction of commercial buildings.


“Sometimes trying to access cash or to get money freed up to do much needed work to upgrading and restoring buildings might not have been there,” said Pettyjohn.


“We wanted to create some sort of an incentive, some way to help the property owners find the resources that they needed to do the work to their buildings, so that the buildings would have greater appeal within the heritage district, but also ultimately improve the business and property values over time.”


Applications to the Heritage Conservation Incentive Program are vetted by the advisory committee before they are forwarded to town council for approval.


Buildings within the district are classified by the advisory committee as either level one or level two for heritage value. Level one heritage properties are commercial structures which were built between 1883 and 1920. Level one properties are a priority for the incentive program. Level two properties have a construction date between 1921 and 1959.


Level one structures may qualify for a property tax exemption to a maximum of 50 per cent of the work costs, or $150,000 of the total property tax that would be payable in five years. This value is based on the assessment of the property after work has been completed. Level two properties can qualify for an exemption to a maximum value of 25 per cent of the work costs, $75,000 or the total property tax that would be payable in five years, based on the re- assessment of the property after the work has finished.


Although the planning for the incentive program has been several years in the making, the municipal bylaw was only passed this spring.


Currently, no formal applications have been submitted since the program has just got its start. But Pettyjohn notes that at the moment there are at least two properties owners who are considering submitting applications to the incentive program and Main Street Program.


For more information on how to submit an application to the Maple Creek Heritage Conservation Program please contact the Maple Creek Main Street Program office at mainstreet@maplecreek.ca.


Maple Creek’s Visitor Centre is willing to help those who have questions about the community.


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Rural Innovation 9


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