Montrealers will have to tighten their belts, because their tax bill will rise at a record pace in 2024, while the Plante administration will increase its spending even more.
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The city of Montreal presented its 2024 budget on Wednesday without Dominique Ollivier, who resigned as chair of the executive committee on Monday after our Bureau of Investigation’s revelations about his lavish spending in the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM). .
Montreal residential owners will see an average property tax increase of 4.9%, a record since 2010, while the budget continues to grow to $7 billion, an increase of 3, 5% compared to last year.
“The budget that we present to you is responsible”, declared the mayor Valérie Plante, for whom this increase is “modest and contained” in a context where “inflation is wreaking havoc” and “everything costs more”.
No slimming treatment
After announcing in October a thinning treatment of $115 million for the current year, the City has no intention of reducing its spending in 2024.
On the contrary, they increase by 235 million dollars, especially to finance public transport (+48.4 million), public security (+35.5 million) and municipalities (+37.6 million).
“We have had difficult decisions to make,” explained Benoît Dorais, mayor of the southwest and new head of finance. “We know that people are going through difficult things,” he added.
The mayor stressed that the tax increases remained below inflation, estimated at 5.2% by the Quebec Statistics Institute in August.
Increases vary by district.
For an average residence valued at $694,541, the new 4.9% increase represents a $227 increase in the tax bill. Last year, the average increase was already 4.1%.
The official opposition to the city council denounces the “contempt” of the Plante administration for the middle class.
“Nine percent in two years is huge. (…) The caviar left promises that every stone must be turned, to ensure that every effort must be made, but what we see in life real are expenses, partysaid Alan DeSousa, Ensemble’s finance spokesman.
“Mme Ollivier is not there, but his whole spending culture is reflected and it is the mayor who carries this budget”, he added.
“It’s not modest,” says Danielle Pilette, UQÀM professor specializing in municipal management.
“There is no structural rearrangement, we don’t see major cuts anywhere,” the expert points out. “It increased a little more in anticipation of the next budget, in 2025, which will be an election year budget,” he analysed.
CITY BUDGET SINCE THE MONTRÉAL PROJECT CAME TO POWER
2017 (Denis Coderre’s last year): $5.2 billion
2018: $5.47 billion
2019: $5.71 billion
2020: $6.17 billion
2021: $6.17 billion
2022: $6.46 billion
2023: $6.76 billion
2024: $6.99 billion