A Local Area Service (LAS), pursuant to Part 7, Division 5 of the Community Charter, is any municipal service that is designed to benefit a particular part of the municipality and is paid for in whole or in part by local property owners through a local service tax.
A local service tax is created by Council to pay all or part of the cost of a Local Area Service. The form of the local service tax ultimately chosen must be specified in the Local Area Service bylaw. Property owners can choose to either pay their share of the costs as a one time payment or elect to pay it annually over a period of time, (normally, fifteen years) with the accrued financing charge.
Local Area Services may be initiated either by property owners in the proposed local area, or by Council. Where initiated by Council, the proposed service is subject to a petition against. Each Local Area Service must be established by bylaw.
The City’s current Local Area Service Policy (PDF) for the Local Area Service program is to approve only those servicing projects that are necessary to enhance services within existing neighbourhoods. The policy does not permit funding for the installation of services for development proposals nor for vacant lands.