Impact fees quashed, city instructed to refund those affected

WINNIPEG — A judge finalized a court order on Tuesday putting an end to the city’s impact fees.

The court order said the impact fees bylaw has been quashed and the city must refund those who have been affected by it.

The refund is to be paid to the person who is on the record at the City of Winnipeg who paid the fee when a building or development permit was acquired.

On top of paying back the fee, the city must pay interest for each individual case. The interest is to be calculated from the date the fee was paid to the date it is refunded.

The court order also said if a developer or builder paid the impact fee they are entitled to the refund, but they must then return that money to the homeowner or purchaser with the interest as well.

Back in June, the city’s finance committee said the impact fee reserve sat at $36.1 million and that was connected to 3,650 permits.

In a news release on Tuesday, the Urban Development Institute of Manitoba (UDI) said it was happy the court order was finalized.

“This is an important step in understanding the work that lies ahead of us – working collaboratively with the City of Winnipeg to forge plans and processes that will allow us to grow a strong sustainable city,” said David Boles, who is the board chair of UDI.

In July, a judge had ruled the impact fee was an invalid, indirect tax and the city was ordered to issue refunds.

Mayor Brian Bowman has previously said the city would not appeal the decision.

All parties have 30 days to appeal the decision.

A spokesperson for the city said the “process for the issuing of refunds as required by the Court’s order is being finalized and further information will be provided as soon as the details are finalized.”

– With files from CTV’s Jeff Keele.

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