Montreal wants to get out of its “dependence” on property tax

The City of Montreal will launch a project this fall to find solutions to diversify its sources of revenue, which depend mainly on property taxes.

Montreal wants to get out of its “dependence” on property tax

The City of Montreal will launch a project this fall to find solutions to diversify its sources of revenue, which depend mainly on property taxes.

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In October, it will hold a Forum on Montréal taxation, which will be followed in the spring of 2023 by a Summit on municipal taxation. The City hopes that these events will allow it to establish "a roadmap" to guide it in the continuation of its Work on taxation.

“Cities have growing responsibilities, but sources of revenue which are limited. The property tax is no longer enough,” said the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante.

In addition to its traditional responsibilities, the City is increasingly taking on a role in matters of government jurisdiction, such as housing, public safety and homelessness.

"Our goal is to identify sources of funding that are sustainable, that are recurring, that are adapted to these new challenges," explained Dominique Ollivier, president of the city's executive committee.

Currently, 63% of the City's revenue comes from property tax. Ms. Ollivier wants to raise up to $300 million more annually to help the municipal administration, especially since bringing its infrastructure up to standard will require major investments in the coming years.

For the moment, no track is yet privileged.

“The example that comes to mind is that of the City of Percé, which has set up a tourist fee in place. How could it be done in Montreal? We want to identify what is being done all over the world,” explained Ms. Ollivier.

In parallel with its projects, the City will set up, by the end of June, a committee of experts to support it in its efforts.

“Although the administration has taken 5 years to present a new project on taxation, Ensemble Montréal will respond to these umpteenth consultations. We must collectively find a way to better fund infrastructure and services for citizens,” reacted Aref Salem, Leader of the Official Opposition.

He warns, however, that this cannot be done at the “detriment” of taxpayers, who already have to deal with the rising cost of living.

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