MFOA's Response to COVID-19 and Resources for Municipalities *Last Updated: April 1, 2020*


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MFOA's Response to COVID-19

Ensuring the safety of our staff, Board Members, Association Members and speakers is the foremost priority of our leadership team. This priority is guiding our decision making process as respond to the COVID-19. 

  • MFOA will be rescheduling all training events that were to be held prior to May 1, 2020. This includes all webinars, live streaming and in-person training. Each week we will determine if we need to extend that date and will provide updated communication by the end of day on Mondays. More information can be found on our training homepage.
  • Most MFOA staff will be working from home over the next two weeks to help flatten the curve. Every staff member has access to emails and phone lines to help support your needs. Visit our Staff Directory for contact information.
New updates on MFOA offices will be found on this page or on Twitter.

Property Tax and COVID-19: Continuing the Conversation *NEW*

Friday, April 3 - 2:00-3:00PM EST
This discussion forum is intended to provide municipalities with updated information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on property tax. We will continue the conversation by having a Q&A session and an opportunity for municipalities to discuss their challenges and ideas.

Forum Moderators:

Click here to Register

Provincial News and Resources

Canada is currently facing an unprecedented situation and municipalities are at the frontline to address local needs and ensuring vital services are maintained. Municipal staff play a key role in responding to the crisis and have to consider what actions can be done to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. To help you address the finance implications of the crisis, we have culled a list of resources from various levels of government and associations. Can't find what you're looking for? Contact christine@mfoa.on.ca with your suggestions for additional resources. Check back regularly for new resources.

Provincial Updates on COVID-19 

TVO's Coronavirus page - for daily updates on the COVID-19 crisis from regions across Ontario.

Municipal World's Coronavirus page - for updates on what local governments are doing to respond to COVID-19.

AMO Coronavirus page - for updates from AMO.

OMERS COVID-19 page - OMERS updates for employers

Provincial Updates

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  • Fiscal Update - WSIB reports and payments will be deferred until August 31, 2020. Municipalities as Schedule 2 organizations are included.
  • Fiscal Update - deferral of the required municipal quarterly remittance of education tax collections by 90 days.  The current remittance due March 31 remains unchanged. The remittance which would have been due on June 30 is now due on September 30.  The payment which had been due September 30 is now due December 30. 
  • Fiscal Update - the assessed values for 2021 will be based on the same valuation date as they are for 2020.  There will be no financial impact for municipalities as a result of this postponement.  MPAC will continue to update assessment rolls to reflect new construction.  Technical details related to this postponement will be determined in the months ahead.
  • March 25 - the Province released its economic and fiscal update. MFOA's summary is available here
  • March 23 -  the Province put in an order for the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves.
  • March 23 - $200 million in funding for social services relief funding. The province will be providing municipalities and organizations that administer social services with funding to support them in their response to COVID-19. The funding will help municipalities and social service providers such as shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits continue to deliver their critical services, hire additional staff, and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to keep clients safe and healthy. Ontario's municipal service managers will determine local needs and distribute the funding, ensuring clients are receiving the support they need.
  • March 20 - the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced that the submission deadline for ERO 019-1406 (Proposed regulatory matters pertaining to community benefits authority under the Planning Act, the Development Charges Act, and the Building Code Act) has been extended to April 20, 2020MFOA's submission is now available.
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Letters to Municipal Stakeholders from Provincial Ministries

Municipal Finance Resources


MFOA Resources

  • MFOA's Cash Flow Template - in Excel format. If you have issues accessing this document please contact christine@mfoa.on.ca
  • The Property Tax Issues and COVID-19 Discussion Forum on March 24 is now available. Click here to view a recording of the forum. 
  • The Challenges for Finance During COVID-19 Discussion Forum on March 26 is now available. Click here to view the presentation. For a summary of the questions posed by participants and relevant discussions, please click hereClick here to view a recording of the forum. 

Best Practices in Municipal Finance

  • GFOA's Cash is King: Short Term Strategies to Slow the Flow of Money Out the Door and Keep the Budget Balanced presents a number of tried-and-true retrenchment techniques that can improve cash flow during difficult times and provide time and resources for governments to develop strategies to deal with the financial crisis.
  • GFOA's Fiscal First Aid Resource Center provides resources for their 12 Step Recovery Process during a financial crisis.
  • OMTRA's COVID-19 Resources page - includes sample policies from Ontario municipalities and updates on COVID-19.
  • GFOA's Best Practices for Disaster Recovery Documentation - this document outlines the steps municipalities can take to collect and maintain adequate documentation on disaster-related costs.
  • GFOA's Business Preparedness and Continuity Guidelines - GFOA recommends that governments develop, test, and maintain a plan to continue their basic business operations during and immediately after disruptive events. Governments must be able to anticipate problems, detect threats and determine effective protective actions to enable them to continue to function. 
  • GFOA's Disaster Preparedness - best practices for municipalities to incorporate resiliency into the capital planning process to produce a sustainable community and mitigate the effects of disasters.
  • Municipal World has launched a weekly podcast to discuss COVID-19 and municipalities. Tune into the first episode to hear Jody Johnson discuss operational challenges – including challenges around meetings.
  • Welch LLP has created "COVID-19: Guidance for Public Sector Entities in Canada". This resource links financial statement items with year-end considerations and impacts on the 2020 fiscal budget. The document is available for download below.

Practical Tips for Municipalities After a Disaster
The following information is from the Guidelines to apply for Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA). Please note, at this time the Province has not announced specific funding for municipalities that relates to disaster recovery, but these tips are best practices to prepare for potential funding.
  • Collect documentation - when submitting claims, municipalities are encouraged to attach as much supporting information as available. The success of claims largely rests on a municipality's ability to demonstrate costs incurred are linked to the natural disaster.
  • Immediately begin to separate incremental operating and capital costs related to the disaster from ordinary municipal expenditures. Establish a segregated General Ledger account to track incremental disaster-related expenses easily.
 

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