WINNIPEG -- Manitobans who had to pay the controversial impact fee in Winnipeg may soon see that money returned, after the City of Winnipeg announced it has started the refund process of $37 million.

On Monday, the City of Winnipeg announced it has started issuing impact fee refund payments with accrued interest.

The city said as of July 9, when the impact fee collection was suspended, the City had collected $36.3 million in impact fees and accumulated around $700,000 in interest from more than 3,500 residential building permits.

Impact fees were first introduced in May 2017 and imposed a charge on developers and builders of $54.73 per square metre of floor area.

In July 2020, a Manitoba judge determined the fee to be a 'constitutionally invalid indirect tax' and ordered the city to refund the millions of dollars collected from builders and developers.

The City of Winnipeg said the refunds will be issued to the party that had to pay the fee to the city, meaning if a homeowner did not directly pay the impact fee but believes they are still entitled to a refund, they should contact their builder and review their agreement.

The city said homebuilders or other parties that receive the refund are required to return it to the homeowner.

The city said most of its refunds will be received by Dec 14, 2020.

-with files from CTV's Charles Lefebvre and Jeff Keele