Laval's budget will exceed $1 billion for the first time
The mayor of Laval, Stéphane Boyer, presented his municipality's 2023 budget to the media on Friday. (Archives)
Mayor Stéphane Boyer's administration will limit general tax increases to 2.9% next year, despite a budget hike of the City of Laval which will make it pass in the 10 figures for the first time in its history.
Some rates – fixed, those – will however be increased. The contribution of each residence to the public transit system will be increased by $19, while that to the financing of water services will increase by $27.
The City will also introduce an eco-fiscal measure with the aim of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, from now on, it will charge an annual fee of $100 for residences still having an oil heating system and $50 for those operating with a dual-energy system.
To balance its budget, the administration has also limited its recruitment ambitions. Only 59 hires have been budgeted for 2023, while Laval – a growing city, explains its mayor – hires 150 to 250 new people a year year after year.
The opposition, however, considers these efforts insufficient. Action Laval, which occupies 5 of the 22 seats on the municipal council, judges that the sixty hirings budgeted by the administration will increase the number of employees of the City without improving infrastructures or services to Laval residents. .
Mayor Boyer identifies public safety, housing and the environment as budget priorities in 2023. Among other things, his administration wishes to protect a larger part of Laval territory from development.
This year, we acquired approximately $30 million worth of natural environments and this is a trend we want to continue, said Mr. Boyer in an interview with Radio-Canada, recalling that his party, the Mouvement Lavallois, had promised during the election campaign to invest 100 million over four years for this purpose.
To fulfill this commitment, his administration has planned 25 million dollars per year in the City's 2023-2025 three-year capital expenditure program (PTI). However, this amount could be increased if ever there are opportunities during the year, said the mayor in an interview.
The Boyer administration's $1.05 billion budget is expected to be passed by city council on December 13 along with the PTI. Since the Mouvement Lavallois is in the majority at City Hall, it should only be a formality.
Last year, the Mayor Boyer's first budget resulted in a 1.9% increase in general taxation. Some rates had also been increased.
The City of Montreal published its own budget on Tuesday. The fiscal year forecasts a 4.1% increase in residential tax burdens, a 12-year high.
The Conference Board of Canada projects that inflation will rise by 4% in the metropolitan area in 2023.
With information from Benoît Chapdelaine