April 23, 2004

York Region makes recommendations to the Province regarding Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

NEWMARKET – York Regional Council made strong recommendations to the Province to strengthen its mandate of the Ministry of Finance’s Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), after hearing a presentation from the Vice President of the corporation during a recent Finance and Administration Committee.
“York Region is prepared to work with MPAC so that residents can better understand their property assessments,” said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO.  “We would like to make a co-operative effort to exchange information that will allow the Region to improve our service to our taxpayers.”
The report further recommends that:
• The Province, in conjunction with municipalities and MPAC, revise the formula used to determine MPAC’s funding contribution from all municipalities to make the charges more accurately reflect the cost of providing local services
• MPAC reallocate local staffing resources in order to better serve York Region assessment growth requirements
• The “opting-out” provision of the MPAC Act, be reinstated to allow municipalities to seek alternative delivery for the assessment function
“Municipalities are required to use MPAC to deliver their assessment services,” said Markham Mayor Don Cousens, Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee.  “As the Region continues to grow our servicing needs must reflect that change.  The Region and the area municipalities are taking a proactive approach to resolve the servicing issues and openly communicate with the Province and MPAC.” 
The Region will pay approximately $11 million for MPAC services in 2004.  Service issues can delay assessment dollars that could otherwise be used to deliver the services needed by those new residents and businesses. 
MPAC provides a variety of services to municipalities which include:
• Maintaining a province-wide property assessment system
• Updating the triennial enumeration for voters’ lists
• Preparing a population report for each municipality that is used for jury duty and school support
The Region is requesting the Province intervene regarding MPAC service issues and the current MPAC funding formula.  The Region is also looking for MPAC to reallocate more staff to address the Region’s growth.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca
Contact:   Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications Services, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1236
- Email: masrine.guthrie-peart@region.york.on.ca


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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