Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

“The central element was the protection of services to citizens,” says Mayor Valérie Plante.

Average increase of 4.9% of residential tax in Montreal

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The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, says that her administration's budget for 2024 is part of a “particular context”. She cites, among other things, the increasing cost of living and the housing crisis. (Archive photo)

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Valérie Plante's administration tabled a balanced budget of $6.99 billion for the federal government on Wednesday. year 2024, which provides for average property tax increases of 4.6% for non-residential buildings and 4.9% for residential buildings.

Two days after the controversy surrounding the resignation of Dominique Ollivier as president of the executive committee, Mayor Plante presented a budget in a “particular” context, as she x27;wrote in his presentation.

Among the challenges that cannot be ignored, the mayor cited the increase in the cost of living, the housing crisis, the crying needs of the most vulnerable and climate change.

And she recalled her recent commitment to contain the tax increase below the inflation figure at the end of August for the Montreal metropolitan region, i.e. 5.2%.

Commitment kept, certainly, but nevertheless the property tax increases announced are substantial: they amount on average to 4.9% for owners of residential buildings and to 4. 6% for those who own non-residential properties.

Non-residential properties with an assessed value of $900,000 or less will continue to benefit from rates differentiated which reduce the tax burden of their owners. This relief affects 70% of buildings of this type. Last year, the increase for the non-residential sector was 2.9%.

Last year, the Plante administration set the municipal tax increase in Montreal at 4.1%, which already represented a 12-year high.

Thus, the home owners most affected are those in Pierrefonds-Roxboro (7.2%) followed by those of Anjou (6.3%).

Others are not left out: in Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, the increase is 5.8%; in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, by 5.5%; in Lachine, 5.3%; and in Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, by 5.2%.

In the city center, the owners of Ville-Marie know the lowest of the increases, with 2.6%, followed by those of Saint-Léonard and Outremont, which recorded increases of 3.9% and 4.2% respectively.

Clearly, in Montreal, the average property tax increase in the residential sector is $227 per household, but the exact amount also depends on the type of housing.

The presentation of this budget comes a little more than a month after the adoption, by the Plante administration, of a budgetary tightening plan of 100 million dollars intended to protect the balance of its 2023 financial statement. And the review of budget items will continue, declared Valérie Plante on Wednesday at a press conference.

The program #x27;capital expenditure, which will run until 2033, is $23.9 billion.

Regarding the expenses that her administration will allow, Mayor Plante explained that they will undergo a modest increase of 3.5% compared to last year.

This budgetary exercise also includes a first, a climate budget for which the municipal administration undertakes to devote 10 to 15% of its investments over the next 10 years to projects linked to adaptation to climate change. In this regard, the City's Director General, Serge Lamontagne, affirms that $240.6 million is planned for the creation of natural and hybrid infrastructure.

For example, within two years, the City will carry out 400 sidewalk improvements and create around thirty additional resilient parks, which will be distributed throughout the territory.

More than $6 billion will be spent on water infrastructure over the next ten years; this concerns in particular the renewal of the secondary aqueduct and sewer networks.

In 2024 only, the City intends to carry out $530 million in infrastructure work, notably on Sainte-Catherine Street and in Griffintown.

On August 30, heavy rains caused such accumulations of water that they forced the closure of sections of street and complicated automobile traffic.

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Cars broke down in the wake of bad weather which briefly compromised traffic this summer in Montreal. (Archive photo)

Public security alone takes up 18.3% of the City's total budget.

In May, the police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) had approved by almost 80% the agreement in principle concluded with their employer, which granted them cumulative salary increases of 19% for the five years coming soon.

By the end of 2024, the City must hire 103 additional police officers; hires which must be added to the 225 others which have been underway since 2022.

As for public transportation, it represents 10.2% of the Montreal municipal budget. Cities, including Montreal, have already indicated to Quebec that they feel “backed against the wall” due to the residual deficits incurred by public transport companies for the period 2024-2028. p>

Free admission for 65-year-olds on Montreal public transport will also be maintained.

Ensemble Montréal describes the tax increases imposed over the past two years in Montreal as historic.

For the official opposition at City Hall, the Plante administration is carrying out extravagant and irresponsible spending and making a mockery of priorities and primary needs of Montrealers.

The opposition notes that since 2017 [i.e. since the first mandate of Valérie Plante, Editor's note] the City's budget has increased by almost 2 billion dollars. The phenomenal taxes are used to increase the salaries of city staff: overall compensation increased from $2.36 to $2.73 billion in six years, says Ensemble Montréal in a press release.

For Alan DeSousa, official opposition finance critic and mayor of the Saint-Laurent borough, Projet Montréal is the very embodiment from the left caviar.

The Association of Commercial Development Companies of Montreal (ASDCM) says it is worried about the increases which are hitting merchants and which risk weakening them, it writes in a press release.

On the other hand, the Association welcomes the maintenance of differentiated rates for non-residential buildings, which represents a significant reduction of 16% in property tax charges for certain merchants.

On the side of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), the budget presented by Mayor Plante and by Benoit Dorais, vice-president of the executive committee and interim finance manager, is welcomed with reservation.

In a difficult economic context, writes the CCMM, the City of Montreal budget tabled today is worrying, both for individuals and for businesses. Property tax increases will weigh very heavily on the finances of Montrealers.

In the opinion of Michel Leblanc, CEO of the CCMM, the non-residential sector in the country suffers one of the heaviest tax burdens in Canada, which harms the competitiveness of businesses and the economy. Mr. Leblanc also recalls the mobility problems in Montreal and deplores that the City is not expanding access to its AGIR (Street Intervention Management Assistant) platform.

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In its commentary on the 2024 budget of the City of Montreal, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes “the funding to increase the workforce of the Mobility Squad”. “However,” she writes, “the City must do much more. » (Archive photo)

The Chamber of Commerce would also have liked more investment so that the investment processes could be accelerated. approval leading to the start of housing projects. She would also have wanted Montreal to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon metropolis.

At a press conference on Wednesday, general manager Serge Lamontagne rightly recognized that the municipal administration would have liked to go further in the decarbonization of buildings, but budgetary constraints had slowed down its momentum.

With information from CBC

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