July 2019
New Regulations Proposed Related to Community Benefits Authority

2019-07-16 9:45:06 AM

CATEGORIES: Finance

The recently passed Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, makes various amendments to a number of Acts, including Schedule 12 of the Planning Act. Additionally, the government is proposing several regulations to prescribe matters relating to the community benefits authority.

The proposed regulations made by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing are available for comment until August 21, 2019. To submit a comment on the proposed regulations, please click here.

Below is a summary of the regulations proposed by the province:

Transition:

The proposed regulation is a transition for municipalities to the new community benefits authority by January 1, 2021 if they wish to collect for the capital costs of community benefits from new developments.

Reporting on Community Benefits:

For the purpose of transparency and accountability, reporting requirements, similar to those required for development charges and parkland under section 42 of the Planning Act, is proposed for community benefits. This involves an annual report for the preceding year that would include information relating to amounts in the community benefits charge special account, such as:

  • Opening and closing balances of the special account;

  • A description of the services funded through the special account;

  • Details on amount allocated during the year;

  • The amount of any money borrowed from the special account, and the purpose for which it was borrowed; and

  • The amount of interest accrued on money borrowed.


Reporting on parkland:

Similar to proposed reporting requirements for community benefits, municipalities with parkland special accounts will be required to submit an annual report for the preceding year providing information about the amounts in the special account. The information to be included in the report is the same as what is proposed for community benefits reporting.  

Exemptions from community benefits:

An amendment to the Planning Act in Schedule 12 exempts certain types of development from the community benefits charge. The proposed exemptions are:

  • Long-term care homes;

  • Retirement homes;

  • Universities and colleges;

  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion; 

  • Hospices; and

  • Non-profit housing


Community Benefits Formula:

An amendment to Schedule 12 of the Planning Act allows municipalities to charge for community benefits at their discretion. The community benefits charge payable to the municipalities, however, cannot exceed the amount equal to the prescribed percentage of the value of the land as of the valuation date.

The proposed regulation involves a range of percentages to be prescribed to take into account the varying values of land. While the Ministry is not yet providing prescribed percentages, there are two goals to determine the prescribed percentages. Firstly, maintaining historic municipal revenues collected from development charges for “soft services” and parkland dedication, including the alternative rate and density bonusing. Secondly, making the costs of development more predictable.

The Ministry says they are welcoming feedback on how the percentages should be determined and there will be further consultation on the proposed formula in the late summer.

Appraisals for Community Benefits:

The province is proposing a regulation whereby the owner must provide the municipality with an appraisal of the value of land. If the municipality disputes said value, the municipality must provide the owner with an appraisal within 45 days. If the municipality’s appraisal differs by more than 5 percent, the owner can select an appraiser from the municipal list of appraisers, who will then provide an appraisal within 60 days.

Excluded Services for Community Benefits:

The Ministry is proposing the following facilities, services or matters be excluded from community benefits:

  • Cultural or entertainment facilities;

  • Tourism facilities;

  • Hospitals;

  • Landfill sites and services;

  • Facilities for the thermal treatment of waste; and

  • Headquarters for the general administration of municipalities and local boards.

The exceptions above would be consistent with the ineligible services list that is found under the Development Charges Act. AMCTO has previously taken the position, along with the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario (MFOA), that there should be no ineligible services the Development Charges Act as the implications for Ontario’s local governments will be reduced potential revenue. This may cause some municipalities to raise property taxes for a community’s taxpayers to compensate. 

Community Planning Permit System:

The proposed regulation would make a community benefits charge by-law unavailable for use in areas within a municipality where a community planning permit system would be in effect.

The community planning permit system is a framework that outlines what must be included in the official plan to establish the system, the process that applies to establishing the implementing by-law, and the matters that must or may be included in the by-law.

For more information:

AMCTO: Ontario Government Passes Bill 108

MFOA: MFOA’s Hub for Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019


 


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