Thunder Bay·Audio

Thunder Bay councillor suggests suing MPAC to send message

The decision by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to reduce the amount of tax Thunder Bay will collect from grain elevators has struck a chord with city council.

Declining tax revenues from industrial operations a result of reduced MPAC assessments

The City of Thunder Bay will lose over half a million dollars in tax revenue from the elevators this year, thanks to reduced MPAC assessments. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

The decision by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to reduce the amount of tax Thunder Bay will collect from grain elevators has struck a chord with city council.

"Can we sue MPAC?”

That question, posed by councillor Larry Hebert at Monday night’s council meeting, came after news Thunder Bay will lose more than $500,000 in tax revenue from the elevators this year.

Thunder Bay councillor Larry Hebert. (Supplied)
Administration never really answered Hebert's question, but he felt it was a worthy suggestion.

"We don't get a chance to appeal, to defend,” he said.

“We're [feeling] the biggest impact of any city ... maybe we should sue them. Just ... to try and get a message across."

City manager Tim Commisso said the city's hands are tied when it comes to getting more money from large industry.

"The positive side to this is, if anything, that eventually you would hope to see those losses in the industrial and large industrial ... cease,” he said.

“How much more can we lose?"

City administration says the province needs to change the rules when it comes to reassessment, or reimburse the city for lost taxes.

"We're still boggled by the fact that, when it comes to appealing and defending assessments, why are we seeing 50, 60 per cent reductions,” Commisso said.

Other council news

  • City councillors approved a plan to have the Brill Buses continue to be housed at the transit garage in Thunder Bay.
  • Council also heard a request from Lakehead University for $25,000 in funding to help support the school's 50th anniversary.
  • Organizers of the Staal Foundation Open golf event were also at council, asking for $20,000. The organizers say they hope council can match the financial support it provided for the event last year.

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