Montreal homeowners should expect to pay between 3% and 6% more in property tax in 2023, the Plante administration’s number two said Monday. She asks the provincial government to conclude a new “fiscal pact” to better finance cities in the face of inflation.
Dominique Ollivier, president of the executive committee of the City of Montreal, affirmed that the city hall would have difficult choices in the medium term in the absence of better support from Quebec.
“We are hit hard by the rise in construction costs, by the rise in the cost of gasoline for snow removal. It is sure that it poses problems for us, ”she said Monday, adding that the salaries of certain employees were indexed. “We cannot freeze (as we have done in previous years) or even be at 2%. [La hausse de taxe foncière sera] between 3% and 6%. »
On Friday, Valérie Plante had already provided an interview with The Press that the property tax hike would not match inflation.
“The current funding model [de la Ville] is absolutely archaic, outdated, disconnected from the responsibilities of the City of Montreal, ”she said Monday at a press conference. “The sinews of war is money. »
The tax land obsolete
Mme Ollivier concluded a day of work on the future of municipal taxation, where actors from Montreal civil society were called upon to reflect on new ways of financing the city’s budget.
Consensual conclusion: we need a “new model of municipal taxation”, reported the elected official. “Montréal has specific financing needs for the roles it assumes as a metropolis. […] The property tax will not be able to meet these needs. She explained that the City should not have to fund its initiatives to fight poverty or promote the French language from its property revenues.
In the absence of such rapid support, the town hall will find itself faced with dilemmas, assures Dominique Ollivier. “We will have to make choices. Are we opening a library or fixing a street? Do we pick up the trash or charge the sports center, for example? “, did she say.
More concretely, the participants in the forum agreed on the importance of moving away from a logic of financing by program, as well as on the future of eco-taxation. On this last point, Mr.me Ollivier mentioned the possibility of imposing a kilometer tax to replace the gasoline tax, water taxation for non-residential uses or the establishment of a “bonus/malus” system for large parking lots.
Monday’s event brought together dozens of participants, including representatives from business, associations and communities.
Michel Leblanc, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, said that Montreal businesses were open to implementing eco-taxation measures if they replace taxes already in place.
“The business community loves the user-pay principle,” he said. The business community is not against pricing correctly. The danger is if we will seek new additional tax revenue [sans baisser la taxe foncière]. »