Elaine Smith, the Labour MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, said: "Tom Maginnis was not only a hard-working, committed councillor but he was also a personal friend and mentor.
"I'm shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden death and my thoughts and prayers are with Mary and the family."
North Lanarkshire provost Jim Robertson described him as a "wonderful person, a real man of the people and an outstanding councillor".
Council leader councillor Jim McCabe also paid tribute and said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Tom's death. He was a true friend and colleague, and I am proud to have known and worked with him for 17 years."
Councillor David Stocks, the leader of the authority's SNP group, said: "Tom was a great guy and although we disagreed politically, I respected his opinions and welcomed his advice. We shared many good times and enjoyed a laugh together."