The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board’s cost apportionment formula for municipalities will not be altered after the majority of members voted against looking into a change during a recent meeting.
At last month’s meeting, Peter Van Heyst, representing the municipality of Chapple, suggested looking at the possibility of changing the cost apportionment formula because smaller townships feel they are paying too much.
The apportionment schedule is what decides how municipalities are billed by DSSAB.
But when each municipal representative went back to their council to see if they even would consider looking at other formulas for cost apportionment, the majority wanted to leave it the way it has been.
Only four of the 12 representatives voted in favour of seeking a different cost apportionment formula.
The resolution to look into a change was defeated and the local DSSAB accepted the current cost apportionment schedule.
Mildred Beck, assistant manager of finance, explained DSSAB has been using the same cost apportionment formula since it was incorporated.
It is the second of three formulas that were initially considered.
“It is based on weighted assessment using weighted tax ratio by class for the DSSAB, including payment in lieus,” Beck noted.
“Weighted assessment is the base assessment with the tax ratios of each individual municipality applied to combine a weighted average tax ratio,” she explained.
Beck said the first option for cost apportionment is a levy estimate based on unweighted assessment, including payment in lieus. Meaning every municipality, every year, faxes us their assessment roll totals for the year.
“This calculation would be just a straight assessment under assessment roll totals by each property class,” she said. “That would give a total assessment and the cost percentage.
“That would be how their portion is calculated.”
The third formula is a weighted assessment, including payment in lieus, using the municipal tax ratios for each individual municipality. Not make it a combine weighted tax ratio, but using a weighted average tax ratio for unincorporated areas.
Beck noted the initial vote on the cost apportionment formula viewed the second option as the most fair to all.
For example, with the first formula, the Town of Fort Frances would pay significantly less for apportionment and with the third option it would pay significantly more.
“We do revisit this on occasion,” Beck said. “It’s just municipal members looking out for their municipality, as they should be. But it’s a democracy.”