Rating Roll 2023-2025 | The city of Montreal is opening the door to a steep tax hike

Montreal residents should expect a hefty tax hike next year if we are to believe the words of Executive Committee President Dominique Ollivier, who on Wednesday refused to limit the tax hike to a threshold well below inflation.

Posted at 5:15 p.m

Andre Dubuc

Andre Dubuc
The press

As we know, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) surged in 2022, hitting 8.1% nationwide in June. Unheard of for almost 40 years.

“We never said we were going close at 3% [la hausse des taxes] ‘ replied M.me Ollivier, responding to a question from a journalist about the 2023 raise. The official-elect met the media at the filing of the new rating list.

The Plante team won re-election in 2021 by pledging not to raise council taxes by a percentage higher than inflation.

“I can tell you very clearly that we will not go to 8%. In any case, I would be very surprised if we went to 8% chained the number 2 of the Plante administration. We will try to stay within a tax bracket that allows us to both meet our responsibilities as a metropolis and respect the solvency of Montreal residents. »

A surprise could await taxpayers if the city mandates a 5% or more tax hike for 2023. For years they have been accustomed to tax increases that are more or less linked to the rate of inflation, which is usually 1 to 3% per year. This is no longer the case this year.

But you will understand that with inflation at 8% at the time of speaking, there is certainly going to be tremendous pressure on the budget. On the other hand, if income remains stable, we face challenges in balancing the budget.

Dominique Ollivier, President of the City of Montreal Executive Committee

Last year, the city capped increases in the tax burden to 2% for residential buildings and 1.5% for non-residential buildings for the fiscal year when the CPI increase nationwide had reached 3.8%.

The city recently launched a local taxation project to find ways to increase its revenue in ways other than raising property taxes. Just over 60% of the city’s budget is funded by local taxes, said Dr.me Olivier.

A 3% increase would be acceptable to the opposition

The words of the President of the Executive Committee are of great concern to the opposition at City Hall.

“Today we are concerned,” said Aref Salem, leader of the official opposition who is named after Mr.me Ollivier, especially since the administration has not given any sign of life on the next tax rate. I know the mayor said last year that she will not raise the tax rate above inflation. When we know that the inflation rate is 8%, that becomes extremely worrying. We are not reassured. »

Mr. Salem would find a tax increase of plus or minus 3% acceptable. He justifies this figure with the fact that the collectively agreed wage increase for city employees, a large expenditure item in the budget, will be well below 8% in 2023. “It’s unthinkable that ‘we’re going 8% ahead,'” he said emphatically.

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