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Council approves tax rebate plan for Windsor’s downtown, Mill Island

This map highlights the area that will fall under the recently approved Commercial Development District. Windsor council is hoping the CDD will help bolster development in the downtown.
This map highlights the area that will fall under the recently approved Commercial Development District. Windsor council is hoping the CDD will help bolster development in the downtown. - Submitted

WINDSOR, N.S. — Members of Windsor council officially approved establishing a Commercial Development District in the downtown core — giving an incentive to property owners to renovate or develop properties in the designated area, while getting a rebate on tax assessment increases.

Councillors are hopeful that this measure will boost development and interest in Windsor’s downtown and the Mill Island property, formerly known as Nova Scotia Textiles, which is also included in the CDD.

The amendment to the municipal planning strategy was approved unanimously by council.

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Windsor’s downtown is already seeing something of a revival

During a public hearing, there were no written or oral questions or comments from the public that were for or against the proposal.

The CDD currently encompasses what is considered to be the downtown core and Mill Island, but there’s the potential to expand the district in the future. That would require council amending the municipal planning strategy again.

What is a Commercial Development District or CDD?

The Orovince of Nova Scotia passed Bill 177 in 2016, which allows municipalities to establish a CDD.

A CDD is a development support program established to aid owners of eligible properties in a specified district by providing the possibility of an annual partial rebate on taxes paid by the owner if the owner has undertaken development of their eligible property through an agreement with the Town.

How it works

For example, if you start with a property assessed at $100,000.

The assessment increases to $250,000 following development.

The difference is a $150,000 increase in assessed value.

The tax incentive, through CDD, is based on 50 per cent of the increased assessment, or $75,000.

Taxes on $75,000 will then be rebated over 10 years.

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