BOARD OF REVISION’S FIRST PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL TO BE CONSIDERED BY EXECUTIVE POLICY COMMITTEE

Winnipeg - Today, Executive Policy Committee (EPC) will consider an administrative report which would create the first Practices and Procedures Manual for citizen members of the City of Winnipeg’s Board of Revision. 

“The creation of a Practices and Procedures Manual for citizen members of the Board of Revision is another step towards increased openness and transparency at City Hall,” said Mayor Bowman. “With Realty Assessment Appeals reviewed by the Board of Revision valued in the billions of dollars annually, it is important to ensure there is transparency for taxpayers.”

The administrative report recommends a Practices and Procedures Manual that would introduce Conflict of Interest and Code of Conduct Policy declarations which aim to decrease the possibility of conflict situations. Board of Revision hearings are public processes and all information submitted and related to the hearings are public information. The proposed practices and procedures embrace the City’s Open Government principles of open, transparent and responsible decision-making. 

Portions of the scheduled hearings will now be live-streamed via the City’s website. Videos will be recorded and maintained on the City’s Decision Making Information System (DMIS) at: 

http://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/DMIS/  

Agendas and decisions for the applications for review will now be made available on DMIS, allowing for public access.

The recommended changes for live streaming of scheduled hearings and publishing of agendas and decisions on DMIS are firsts for the City of Winnipeg.

The move to paperless hearings will reduce paper usage and reduce storage requirements for paper-based files. This would also allow for an easier flow of information between the applicants and decision-makers. Computer access will be provided to Board of Revision members, removing the need for paper files at the hearings.

“I commend the City Clerks’ Department for their work on creating a manual to ensure citizen members of the Board of Revision are held to a standard that is expected by taxpayers,” said Mayor Bowman. 

The Board of Revision is an impartial quasi-Judicial body that has the responsibility to hear assessment appeals with respect to the assessed value, classification, liability or the refusal of the assessor to amend the assessment roll. The Board is appointed by City Council and consists of citizens selected for their knowledge, experience and impartiality. The Board is independent of the assessment authority and panel members are not City Employees.

Hearings typically consist of three panel members and are scheduled throughout the year to hear appeals relative to assessment. Issues of taxation and/or city services are not addressed.

If approved by EPC and Council, the Practices and Procedures Manual would be phased in immediately.

For more information about the Board of Revision, please see:

http://www.winnipeg.ca/clerks/toc/boardofrevision.stm 

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