Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The legislative piece will notably make it possible to perpetuate the transfer of a QST point to cities.

Municipal taxation: bill 39 is adopted

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The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest, is the author of Bill 39 which will give more powers to cities. (Archive photo)

  • Jérôme Labbé (View profile)Jérôme Labbé

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Municipalities will now have new powers granted by the Government of Quebec, which will allow them to diversify their sources of revenue. Bill 39 was unanimously adopted Friday afternoon, as National Assembly deputies sat for the last time in 2023.

Minister Andrée Laforest's legislative piece was originally developed with the aim of perpetuating the transfer of a QST point to cities, above all.

It will also allow municipalities that wish to do so to tax vacant housing, a long-standing request from Projet Montréal.

Numerous amendments were also made during the detailed study of the bill in parliamentary committee.

One ​​of them, for example, will ensure that the expenses of public consultation offices like the OCPM are better controlled by ensuring that their staff is subject to the same policies as municipal employees.

Bill 39 will also grant the right to municipalities and MRCs that offer public transportation services to impose vehicle registration based on their gasoline consumption. The ruling Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) had nevertheless spoken out against such a measure in the past.

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This legislative provision was also described as a blue tax on Thursday by MP Étienne Grandmont, from Québec solidaire, a party which was itself accused by François Legault during the last electoral campaign of proposing orange taxes.

Questioned on the subject upon her arrival at the Caucus caucus on Friday morning, the Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault, defended the measure by recalling that it aimed to respond to requests expressed for a long time by municipalities. /p>

Bill 39, she added, will also grant first-time buyers the right to extend transfer taxes for an interest-free purchase and allow cities to accelerate the construction of housing. We talk about it less, agreed Ms. Guilbault, but these aspects of the text are also very important, she argued.

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Minister Geneviève Guilbault declared that it was false to say that the CAQ is imposing a new tax on motorists by giving the right to municipalities with a transport company to do so.

Another amendment will give cities the means to ensure the protection of their natural environments without fear of being sued by owners for “disguised expropriation” – which was also denounced by the City Council. Association of construction and housing professionals of Quebec (APCHQ), Friday.

The pitfalls are piling up more than ever to build and densify in Quebec, she lamented on the X network. How are we going to house people? By continuing to eat away at agricultural land?

The Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM), which called for the transfer of a QST point to cities to be consolidated, for its part was delighted on Friday with the adoption of Bill 39, arguing that it represented a significant step in the modernization of the rules governing municipal taxation.

To make this possible, the Territorial Planning Commission had to complete the detailed study of the text in recent weeks, which led to the suspension of work surrounding Minister France's Bill 31. -Élaine Duranceau, whose adoption, promised by Christmas, was postponed to 2024, Friday.

Since 2020 and 2024 , the transfer of a QST point to municipalities will have enabled them to garner revenues of $826 million, according to government estimates.

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