The Assessment & Taxation Department has three roles in the Local Improvement process. Firstly, to perform the administrative tasks needed to satisfy the legal requirements of both the City of Winnipeg Charter Act and specific City of Winnipeg By-laws. Secondly, to provide information necessary for standing policy committees and Council. And lastly, to perform the billing function for completed projects.
What are local improvements?
Local Improvements are alterations you pay the City to make in your area. They can be initiated either by an area’s resident or the City. Local improvements include paving your local lane, oiling or lighting your lane, building sidewalks or boulevards, and installing ornamental street lights just to name a few. Maintaining existing services such as street repairs is not a local improvement. Your bill will not have this charge if your area has had no recent improvements.
How is a local improvement initiated?
A Local Improvement may be proposed in two ways:
- By City Council
- By a petition signed by registered owners of at least 3/5 of the total property that is to be benefited by the proposed local improvement. A successfully signed petition (over 3/5) is required by The City of Winnipeg Charter to proceed through the Advertisement process.
- "Petition For" - requires the circulation of a petition by an initiator to obtain signatures from property owners occupying at least 60% of the frontage feet for the project.
- Advertisement - a local improvement is advertised in local newspapers and a notice is also sent to all the affected property owners. If a fronting property owner is opposed to the local improvement, they can obtain a "petition against" from the City and obtain signatures in opposition to the proposed works from the affected property owners. The results of the petition are then forwarded to the local Community Committee for their approval/rejection of a local improvement. Signatures, representing more than 60% of the affected fronting property owners, are considered to be sufficient to defeat a local improvement.
How do I initiate a local improvement?
To initiate a local improvement request, we require a written letter of request by the interested party.
A written request can be made by letter, e-mail, or fax to the personnel identified below with type of Local Improvement work requested (see last page for types of Local Improvements), location of where the construction or installation of this work is proposed and a brief reason why you feel this Local Improvement is needed.
Why do you have to pay for these?
You pay for them because they directly benefit your property.
How do you pay for them?
The City charges you for a part of the cost of any improvements made in your area. Your share is the percentage your frontage represents in the total frontage area improved.
How can you pay for these costs?
Once the improvement is done, the City sends you a statement called “Cash Cost Statement”. Your options are:
- Pay the full amount immediately. This will save you interest and the City administrative fee.
- Pay instalments on the cost + interest + the City administrative fee. The payment amount and period will be different for each improvement. Paying by instalment for road oiling takes one year, for sidewalks five years and for street or lane pavement is ten years.
- Pay by instalment for several years, then pay the rest in one lump sum. This way, you can pay the City’s administrative fee + interest until you pay off your account. You save the interest on your lump sum payment.
Can you appeal a local improvement charge?
Yes. Since your local improvement charge is based on your property’s frontage, you can appeal it if you have an irregular shaped property. Please note that you cannot appeal the actual charge of the levy but you can appeal the calculation of the levy itself.
How can you appeal your local improvement charge?
If you disagree with the charge, you have 30 days from the date the levy first appears on your tax bill to appeal it. To file an appeal, write to the Board of Appeal stating the grounds for appeal and submit to:
Board of Appeal
c/o City Clerk
510 Main Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 1B9
Where can I get more information on local improvements?
The Local Improvement process is initiated by either the Public Works or Water and Waste Departments. For more detailed information on Local Improvements click on the Local Improvements link.
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