Photo Valérian Mazataud archives Le Devoir The mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante
Valérie Plante was not able to say, Wednesday, whether her administration would respect its electoral promise not to impose tax increases beyond inflation in the next budget of the City of Montreal.
The City's 2024 budget should be tabled in the coming weeks. Several districts have already prepared their own budgets which show local tax increases ranging from 5%, in Ville-Marie, to 15%, in the case of Anjou. Even if these local taxes only represent a portion of less than 10% of the property taxes of Montreal taxpayers, they nevertheless suggest significant increases in taxes linked to the budget of the central city.
On Wednesday, Valérie Plante did not want to comment on the tax increases that Montrealers should expect or on the ability of her administration to respect its electoral commitment to limit tax increases to inflation. “We will, until the last moment, make every effort necessary to find a balance,” she said. “We’re in the process of tying up some strings. »
According to her, however, the context is particular. She argued that cities inherited issues that were in fact the responsibility of other levels of government. “We are putting new responsibilities on the backs of cities and city taxpayers while we do not have the appropriate sources of funding,” she said.
She cited the example of homelessness which, during the pandemic, cost the City of Montreal $40 million. “After that, the government gave us a check. We were very happy. But since then, homelessness problems have increased,” explained the mayor. “But I’ve never had a check in the last two years regarding homelessness. It’s at least 50 million. This is the reality. People need to hear this because it would be unfair for citizens to only turn to the municipalities while the government, in a way, does not help us. »
She pointed out that unlike the City of Montreal, the Quebec government benefits from inflation since it collects the QST. During this time, the City's expenses, particularly related to construction costs and the price of gasoline, are increasing, she pointed out. “There is tax inequity. »
In 2023, property taxes for Montreal owners increased by an average of 4.1%. This was the largest increase since 2011.
According to the Institute of Statistics of Quebec, inflation reached 4.6% in Quebec last August.