I applaud the steps taken today by the Provincial Government that will improve property assessments and appeals in municipalities including the City of Winnipeg.
The changes to the Municipal Assessment Amendment and Municipal Board Amendment Act enable electronic access to assessment information and streamline the planning appeals process, Municipal Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced.
“Right now, all property owners receive their notice of assessment via mail,” said Clarke. “The proposed amendments will enable assessment notices to be sent electronically, as well as allow municipalities to post assessment roll information online.”
Enabling all municipalities to make a portion of their assessment rolls available to the public online supports enhanced accessibility and transparency, the minister noted The proposed change to electronic assessment notices is expected to reduce the need to print and mail statements, which would improve client service, reduce environmental impacts and save money in the longer term, she added. The proposed amendment would see property owners outside the city of Winnipeg able to access their assessment notices electronically starting in spring 2022.
In addition, changes to the Municipal Board Act would support the successful implementation of planning appeals under the Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act, proclaimed in October 2021.
“Planning appeals are fundamental to open and fair planning systems, and are necessary for upholding transparent and accountable decisions,” said Clarke. “These amendments will streamline processes, improve transparency and ensure timely resolutions for planning appeals with the municipal board moving forward.”
The government engaged with key stakeholders and the public to seek feedback on what they believed were important changes to the planning appeal process. The proposed changes would provide greater clarity on the municipal board’s authority to expedite, dispose and/or resolve planning matters without holding a hearing, the minister noted.
Amendments to the Municipal Assessment Act would come into effect on the day the proposed legislation receives royal assent and by proclamation.