Coaldale, Alta., about 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary, is chopping taxes for new businesses that start up next year.
Mayor Kim Craig says the town is growing, but not with a lot of commercial business.
So the town launched an initiative called “Three for Free” where new businesses won’t have to pay municipal taxes for three years and will only have to pay a small amount for the following two years.
“Right now Coaldale has about 92 per cent of its tax base funded by residential taxes and we want to increase our industrial and commercial tax base,” Craig said.
Tony Tams' family runs the local Food Market and says it’s a good idea.
“I think it's good for the community as far as drumming up other businesses in town, it keeps the existing people in town shopping locally,” Tams says.
But some others like Christina Kollias, whose family has run Dilos Pizza since 1980, say a tax break of three years is too long.
“I think they should get a break a little bit when they're new, but not three years because we first started and we had to struggle too to get through everything,” Kollias says.
Craig says he hopes the initiative is successful, but doesn't want competition from other towns.