The Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre Community Improvement Plan supports projects that revitalize, strengthen and diversify strategic zones within five Niagara municipalities. Eligible projects can receive significant tax increment based grants to offset the increased taxes driven by higher property values at project completion as well as grants to offset development charges related to the investment.
The Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre Community Improvement Plan (Gateway CIP) provides eligible projects with property tax reductions of between 40% and 100% for five to ten years to eligible property owners in the municipalities of Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne, Thorold and Welland. Those same projects are also eligible for grants to cover Regional Development Charges. Projects that promote private sector investment, development, redevelopment and construction activity in strategic zones that have been identified for each city may be eligible.
Two programs are available through the Gateway CIP:
Tax Increment Based Grant Program This program provides an incremental tax grant to completed projects within the Gateway Project Area based on the project’s economic and environmental design performance. Successful applicants will receive a tax rate rebate of a percentage of the post-project values, for a period of five or 10 years depending on the location of the project. Tax savings resulting from this program can be significant.
Regional Development Charge Grant Program This program recognizes exceptional projects – those that score 14 points or more according to the Gateway CIP evaluation criteria – and provides relief from Regional Development Charges for those projects. The Development Charge Grant payment is capped at $1.5 million.
Applications for Gateway CIP incentives are assessed based on a variety of different factors including the value of the construction project, the number of jobs the project will create or retain, the project’s environmental performance and adherence to Niagara Region’s Smart Growth Design Criteria.
Evaluation Scoring Matrix
A maximum of 20 points is available, with a potential of 15 for economic performance and 5 for environmental design performance. The annual percentage of municipal property tax “rebated” will be based on the total project score out of 20.
Points for economic performance are awarded based on A: the construction value of the project and B: the number of full-time equivalent jobs created or retained by the project.
A. Construction Value
- $200,000 – $1,999,999 = 1 Point
- $2,000,000 – $9,999,999 = 2 Points
- $10,000,000 – $39,999,999 = 3 Points
- $40,000,000+ = 4 Points
B. Full-time Jobs Created or Retained
- 1 – 9 = 5 Points
- 10 – 19 = 6 Points
- 20 – 34 = 7 Points
- 35 – 50 = 8 Points
- 51 – 74 = 9 Points
- 75 – 100 = 10 Points
- 11+ = 11 Points
Environmental Design Performance
Points in this category are applied based on either C, the project’s level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification OR, D, the project’s conformity with Niagara Region’s Smart Growth Design Criteria.
C. Level of LEED Certification
- Certified = 2 Points
- Silver = 3 Points
- Gold = 4 Points
- Platinum = 5 Points
D. Smart Growth Design Criteria
- Conforms with 3/6 Criteria = 2 Points
- Conforms with 4 /6 Criteria = 3 Points
- Conforms with 5/6 Criteria = 4 Points
- Conforms with 6/6 Criteria = 5 points
The evaluation score is based on the following equation:
A + B + (C or D) = Gateway CIP Score
The Gateway CIP score generates the Tax Increment Based Grant (TIBG) amount. The percentage of property tax increase that is generated by the development project will be rebated for a duration of 5 or 10 years, depending on if the location of the project is within a Strategic Location for Investment.
Total Gateway CIP Score – TIBC Level
- 0-7 = No Grant
- 8 = 40%
- 9 = 45%
- 10 = 50%
- 11 = 55%
- 12 = 60%
- 13 = 65%
- 14 = 70%
- 15 = 75%
- 16 = 80%
- 17 = 85%
- 18 = 90%
- 19 = 95%
- 20 = 100%
Incentive programs described above are subject to cancellation and/or modification at any time. Applicants should contact Niagara Economic Development and/or their local Niagara municipality to obtain the most up-to-date information on incentive programs.
For more information on the Gateway incentive programs, please contact Ken Scholtens or the planning department for the municipality where your project is being planned.
Town of Fort Erie
City of Niagara Falls
City of Port Colborne
City of Thorold
City of Welland
that are only available in Niagara Canada
Receive property tax rebates
based on your projects economic and environment impact
More than 36 million in incentives
approved between 2015-2017
News & Media
$36+ million approved for Gateway incentives
2nd most competitive centre for business in Ontario
$608.2 million 2017 non-residential building construction
Statistics Canada, 2017
$512.2 million 2018 non-residential building construction
Statistics Canada, 2018