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Government of Manitoba
Conservation and Water Stewardship

New Park District Service Fees and Crown Land Rent

Updated December 1, 2014

News

Invoices for Crown Land Rent and Park District Service fees for the 2014/2015 season are scheduled to be sent out in February of 2015.

A cap on combined park district service fee and land rent is set at $3,000, and this cap will be maintained for three years (2014/2015 bills to 2016/2017 bills)

In 4 years, beginning in 2018/19, we will begin to phase in a new property value assessment model for cottagers inside provincial park districts. More details of how this model will be developed and phased in will be made available in the future. Consultation will be a key component of the development of this new assessment model.

Affordable Fees and Rents

Manitoba’s provincial parks have some of the most beautiful cottage lots and among the most affordable cottage fees and rent in the country, however:

  • Current park district service fees do not cover the cost of services provided.
  • Current land rent does not reflect increased land values.

That is why Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship is phasing in new service fees and land rent for cottagers in provincial parks, as well as on similarly managed Crown lands outside of parks.

Keeping Fees and Rents Fair

Service fees and land rent for commercial operators will be assessed individually, based on the services provided. Service fees for special consideration organizations such as church, RCMP and fire department properties will not change this year. Cottagers are not expected to cover any gap between expenditures and revenue for other client groups.

The new Building the Parks Province: Manitoba’s Parks Strategy will guide park district management in establishing fair cottage service fees and land rents.

Service Fees at Work

In accordance with the Provincial Parks Act, park district service fees are based on:

  • the costs to operate and maintain services including utilities, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage removal, emergency services, highways and streets, street-lighting, sidewalks, and other similar services, works and improvements
  • cost of capital works relating to the provision of services
  • amounts required to defray the costs of administrative and other services provided to the park district or to defray the administrative costs of the park district

The Cost of Providing Services

In 2012/13, the cost of providing services within 18 park districts that contain cottages was approximately $3.5 million.

Revenues from cottagers for those services were approximately $2.1 million.

Increases in fees will help recover the cost of services provided to cottagers. Increases will be phased in over five years, beginning in 2013. This will allow time for owners and park occupiers to adjust to the new rates. Fee actual increases will vary by park district and reflect the type and level of service provided.

Park district service fees are based on the previous year’s actual costs.

In the case of financial hardship, eligible cottagers may apply to enter into an agreement to defer a portion of their payment. Payment with interest would be due upon transfer of a lease.

Increased Land Values

Crown land rental rates for owners and occupiers in provincial parks, and on similarly managed Crown lands outside of parks, are based on a percentage of appraised land values. This percentage was gradually increased between 1988 and 1998. However, Crown land values have not been reassessed since the early 1980s. Recently, land values have greatly increased, especially in southern Manitoba. As a result, rent from current Crown land in parks is much less than rent from comparable recreational properties in municipalities.

Cottage Lot and Crown Land Rent Reassessed

The market value of Crown land in parks, and on similarly managed Crown lands outside of parks, have been calculated based on comparable residential land assessments in municipalities surrounding provincial park districts.

Crown land rent increases for cottagers will be phased in over 10 years, beginning in 2013. This will allow time for owners and occupiers in parks to adjust to the new rent.

There is a minimum rental amount of $500 for lakefront or remote lots where limited comparable information is available, and a minimum fee of $200 for back-tier lots. A cap on combined park district service fee and land rent is set at $3,000, and this cap will be maintained for four years(2013/14 bills to 2016/17 bills).

Land values, as well as the minimum and the maximum rental amounts, will be reviewed annually. Estimates of the full Crown land rent for cottagers are based on market value assessments.

In 4 years, beginning in 2018/19, we will begin to phase in a new property value assessment model for cottagers inside provincial park districts. More details of how this model will be developed and phased in will be made available in the future. Consultation will be a key component of the development of this new assessment model.