BUDGET 2011: TAX HIKES, NEW TAXES
2 December 2010
MONTREAL — It's about to get more expensive to live in the city of Montreal.
City Hall has delivered a budget that includes a new vehicle registration tax, and increases in property taxes that come on top of large property value assessments.
Mayor Gerald Tremblay says the increase is spending is designed to encourage families to stay in Montreal.
"They want more security, they want parks, they want libraries, they want community centres, they want sports and leisure. Those are services that we need to provide if we want to keep and attract families," said Tremblay.
However the biggest increase in spending is on the pension plan for civil servants.
Almost $135 million goes toward paying retirees.
The stiffest property tax increase is for the Southwest borough, which will see taxes increase by 7.3 per cent.
Residents of the Plateau-Mont Royal and Lachine can expect tax increases of 6.8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.
The one hint of good news for homeowners fearing massive tax hikes is that the city has reduced mill rates, which means people who have seen properties increase in valuation by an average of 22 per cent will not see a corresponding increase in taxes.
During the budget presentation the city offered an example of an homeowner whose property was valued at $278,000 in 2010 and $348,050 after the latest property assessment.
With the average tax increase across the city, property taxes on this hypothetical family will rise from $3024 to $3151.
New Vehicle Tax
Also in the budget is the much-discussed new registration fee for vehicles.
The city of Montreal and the Agglomeration Council have asked that the $45 tax apply to all vehicles on the island of Montreal.
School buses, taxis, and vehicles that make up the Communauto car-sharing fleet will be exempt.
The projected earnings from the new vehicle tax are part of a $32.1 million increase in the budget for public transit.
Residents of the Plateau were not please about yet another tax hike.
"I just wish they could do more with the tax money they're already getting instead of constantly charging more and more," said Ardelle Piper.
Marie-Lise Boulet, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 25 years, was not impressed with the budget.
"It's going to be less money in my pocket."
Opposition leaders at city hall are accusing the mayor of wasting money.
Vision Montreal's Louise Harel pointed out Mayor Gerald Tremblay has hiked taxes 10% in two years.
Richard Bergeron, the leader of Projet Montreal who recently left the city's Executive Council, says taxes are too high.
"For what? For nothing? To feed the big machine, the big central machine of Montreal," said Bergeron.
Property Tax Increase by Borough
- Ahuntsic-Cartierville: 3.2%
- Anjou: 4.0 %
- Cote des Neiges-NDG: 2.9%
- Ile Bizard-Ste. Genevieve: 4.5%
- Lachine: 6.0%
- LaSalle: 4.1%
- Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve: 4.7%
- Montreal North: 3.3%
- Outremont: 4.5%
- Pierrefonds-Roxboxo: 2.5%
- Plateau-Mont Royal: 6.8%
- Riviere des Prairies-Pointe aux Trembles: 3.9%
- Rosemont-La Petite Patrie: 5.3%
- St. Laurent: 4.8%
- St. Leonard: 5.8%
- Southwest: 7.3%
- Verdun: 3.5%
- Ville Marie: 2.4%
- Villeray-Park Extension-St. Michel: 4.8%
Tax breakdown: Where does the money go?
- 20.7% Public security
- 16.9% Debt and interest charges
- 10.0% Leisure and culture
- 9.9% Public transit
- 8.9% Pension fund
- 8.1% Administration
- 6.2% Water system
- 4.7% Road maintenance
- 4.6% Urbanism and Economic development
- 4.5% Garbage collection
- 3.3% Snow removal
- 2.2% Social housing