September 2020
2021 Provincial Municipal Levy 
This month, MPAC’s Board of Directors approved the corporation’s 2021 operating budget with a total municipal levy increase of 0%. This budget reflects our understanding of the financial challenges faced by municipalities and the need for us to continue to deliver on our service commitments.

Like many businesses, MPAC responded to the uncertainty created by COVID-19 by putting hiring on hold and stopping travel, resulting in cost savings. We have strictly managed our cash flow and have worked to identify efficiencies and cost reductions to maintain our budget at the current level for 2021. That means the total levy amount is the same as 2020, without any reduction to services.
 
Municipal billing partners can expect to receive more details about their individual 2021 levy, determined by a formula based on MPAC’s costs, the assessment base and number of properties within each municipality, later this year. Municipalities can contact their Account Manager with inquires in the interim.
Extended timeline to capture new assessment this year
In response to a suggestion by our Municipal Liaison Group, we have identified opportunities to speed up our processes in order to deliver approximately $1-billion in additional new assessment for municipalities this year.
 
Our new timeline means we will send all our Property Assessment Notices and Amended Notices to property owners two weeks later this year, from November 17 to 27. Municipalities will still receive their 2021 assessment roll on December 15, 2020.
Rebuilding Municipal Connect to meet the needs of municipalities 
We are developing the next iteration of Municipal Connect, our data-sharing tool with municipalities, in-house and have accelerated the project to meet the needs of our municipal partners. The new system will create the foundation for a highly collaborative, transformational tool that improves the user experience to make information easier to access. It will also enable the opportunity to expand the ways municipalities can use MPAC’s data and support municipal governments into the future.
 
Our work is well underway and we recently engaged a group of 17 municipalities to provide regular feedback as we build the new system. This will help make the final product intuitive and user-friendly.

We anticipate the new Municipal Connect will be available in early 2021, when a small pilot group of municipalities will start to test it out. We will continue to maintain the current Municipal Connect system throughout the development process and roll out of the system, ensuring there will be no service interruption for municipalities.
Upcoming webinars
New Assessment Reporting and Forecasting

Did you know a number of service levels in the Municipal Service Level Agreement (SLA) are directly related to new assessment? As part of the SLA, new assessment reports and forecasts are shared with municipalities to help inform municipal activities and annual budget planning.

Join subject matter experts Dan Devellis, Director, Valuation and Customer Relations, Jason Hagan, Regional Manager, and Catherine Barr, Account Manager, for an overview of the new assessment forecast process. Find out how MPAC’s reports are determined, what municipal information is used, and how these customized reports can be of assistance in your financial analysis and budget planning. As always, we’ll dedicate time to answering your questions throughout the webinar.
Date: Wednesday, October 7
Time: 1 to 2 P.M. EDT
Farm Tax Incentive Program
 
Join us for a webinar hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Agricorp and MPAC on the Farm Tax Incentive Program. We’ll include an overview of the program’s administration, the process for municipalities from application through approval, and a discussion on consolidation and severance, TIAs and TIYs.
Date: Wednesday, October 21
Time: 1 to 2 P.M. EDT
You can find recordings of all our monthly municipal webinars on our YouTube channel. A schedule of upcoming webinars is also available on mpac.ca.
MPAC’s curbside pick-up program for collecting paper building plans is in full swing. In the Golden Horseshoe, municipalities are not only helping MPAC access plans, they’re working toward sharing them digitally, too.
 
“In one day early in September, our team was able to obtain building plans from the Town of Lincoln and the Town of Grimsby, and we viewed plans that couldn’t be shared digitally from a secure meeting room in Norfolk County,” says Lynne Cunningham, MPAC Account Manager. “My municipal contacts have been so willing to work with us to make sure we can access the information we need quickly, which is helping our valuation team assess properties and get new assessment on the roll for this year.”
 
As expected, every municipal experience is unique. Haldimand County staff have set up a room for MPAC to use for viewing paper building plans, while at the same time working toward sharing them digitally. The City of Welland has also been sharing plans digitally.
 
“We see the value in submitting plans to MPAC online through WorkSight because it’s secure and efficient both for us and MPAC,” says Steve Zorbas, the City of Welland’s Interim CAO/General Manager of Corporate Services and CFO. “We’re working to digitize our plans and move to online submission not just during the pandemic but for the long-term as well.”
 
To learn more about submitting digital building plans through WorkSight or to arrange a curbside pick-up of plans, contact your Account Manager.

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