The City of Quebec should imitate the City of Montreal by postponing the deadline for municipal tax payments to 2021, due to the pandemic, claim the opposition parties at city hall.
• Read also: Postponement of deadlines for the payment of municipal taxes in Montreal
On Wednesday morning, the vice-president of the executive committee of the City of Montreal Benoit Dorais confirmed that the taxpayers of the metropolis will be entitled to a certain respite. The deadline for the first installment – usually scheduled for March – has been extended to 1er June while the second installment will be due for the 1er September.
In Quebec, property taxes must be paid in four installments. For now, the cabinet of Régis Labeaume has indicated that no change was planned to the deadlines set for March 3, May 3, July 5 and September 3.
The opposition parties deplore the intransigent position of the City of Quebec which refuses to offer a postponement this year, although it had done so in 2020, when the health crisis erupted.
“I don’t understand the mayor’s stubbornness. Is it for lack of empathy? For lack of sensitivity? Does he want to maintain a balance of power in his negotiations with hoteliers? Last year, the City of Quebec had done so. Montreal announced it this morning. The mayor should have already announced it, ”reacted the leader of the opposition, Jean-François Gosselin.
The latter thinks first and foremost of traders, such as restaurateurs and hoteliers, whose income has fallen drastically in recent months due to the strict measures imposed by the government. The leader of Quebec 21 says he wants to allow them to “breathe a little” by giving them leeway.
“That’s the lesser of it. When we talk about economic recovery, we are going to need our merchants, our restaurateurs and our hoteliers … The mayor must get out as quickly as possible to take away this concern with taxes. ”
Rousseau deplores the “silence” of the mayor
The leader of Democracy Quebec, Jean Rousseau, is also of the opinion that the City of Quebec must offer the possibility of postponing the first payment of taxes to the month of June. The silence of the town hall on this issue, he said, is deafening. Mr. Rousseau also proposes to offer the possibility of spreading the payments over twelve months, without fees or interest as in Lévis.
“I am very surprised at the lack of action taken by the City, which does not seem to want to move in that direction. This is the least we can do to help restaurateurs and hoteliers. Why add additional financial pressure to them? What we are asking for is a tax deferral, not a tax holiday. The City has the financial leeway to do so, ”he confided in an interview.
At the mayor’s office, the press secretary of the mayor Régis Labeaume refused to comment on Wednesday. The day before, he had again invited traders in difficulty to contact the City to make piecework payment agreements. The media were, however, called to a press briefing regarding the tax bill on Thursday afternoon. The mayor will provide an update with the City’s Director General, Luc Monty, and the Director of the Finance Department, Chantal Pineault.
Quebec hoteliers, who are struggling to make ends meet, also went out publicly on Tuesday to demand relaxation from the Labeaume administration for the payment of property taxes.