Assessment roll 2023-2025 | The City of Montreal opens the door to a strong tax increase

Montrealers should expect a sharp tax increase next year if the words of the president of the executive committee, Dominique Ollivier, are to be believed, who on Wednesday refused to commit to limiting the tax increase to a threshold well below -below inflation.

Posted on September 14th

Andre Dubuc

Andre Dubuc
The press

As we know, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped in 2022, reaching 8.1% in the country in June. Unheard of for nearly 40 years.

“We never said we were going at the head at 3% [la hausse des taxes] ” answered Ollivier to a question from a journalist about the increase that will come in 2023. The elected met with the media on the occasion of the presentation of the new evaluation roll.

Plante’s team won re-election in 2021 by promising not to raise municipal taxes by a percentage higher than inflation.

“Clearly, I can tell you that we will not go to 8%. In any case, I would be very surprised if we go to 8%, chained the number 2 of the Plante administration. We will try to stay in a fiscal range that allows both to meet our responsibilities as a metropolis, but also to respect Montrealers’ ability to pay.”

A surprise could await taxpayers if the City decrees a tax increase of 5% or more for 2023. For years, they have been accustomed to tax increases aligned more or less with the rate of inflation, which usually it varied from 1 to 3% per year. This is no longer the case this year.

But you will understand that with inflation that is 8% at the time of speaking, it is certain that, on the budget, that puts enormous pressure on spending. If the income, on the other hand, remains stable, it will cause challenges to balance the budget.

Dominique Ollivier, President of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal

Last year, the City limited tax increases to 2% for residential buildings and 1.5% for non-residential buildings for the fiscal year when the CPI increase had reached 3.8% throughout the province.

The city recently launched a project on municipal taxation to find ways to increase its revenue other than by raising property taxes. Just over 60% of the city’s budget is financed by municipal taxes, said Oliver.

A 3% increase would be acceptable for the opposition

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

“Today we are anxious,” said Aref Salem, Leader of the Official Opposition, who spoke after Ollivier, especially since the administration has not given any sign of life on the next tax rate. I know that the mayor, last year, already said that she will not raise the tax rate more than inflation. If we know that the inflation rate is 8%, this becomes very worrying. We are not reassured. »

Mr. Salem would find a tax increase of plus or minus 3% acceptable. He justifies this figure by explaining that the increase in the salary of city employees, a major item of expenditure in the budget and which is governed by a collective agreement, will be well below 8% in 2023. “It is unthinkable that” we will go ahead with 8%”, he said emphatically.

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