Belvedere: For the first time in history Pointe Claire will give more than half of taxes to Montreal

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Montreal Agglomeration budget, Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog,West Island News, Association of Suburban Municipalities,ASM, Beny Masella, Maria Tutino, Michel Gibson, Edgar Rouleau, Dorval, Pointe Claire, John Belvedere
Image from January 2018 West Island Protest against demerged tax hike

Montréal imposes increase of $2.1 million to Pointe Claire budget AGAIN higher than the rate of inflation.

In an extraordinary public meeting held last Tuesday at City Hall, the mayor of the City of Pointe-Claire, John Belvedere, and the members of City Council adopted the 2019 budget, which includes not only an increase of expenditures limited to $3.2 million for services offered by the City of Pointe-Claire, but also a very significant increase of $5.4 million for the contributions payable by Pointe-Claire to the City of Montréal for Agglomeration services.

“Once again this year, the contributions payable by the City of Pointe-Claire for the Agglomeration of Montréal will be our main expenditure item. For the first time in our history, we will be forced to give more than half, specifically 51%, of all our residential, commercial, and industrial tax revenues to the City of Montréal,” stated Mayor John Belvedere.

Since the demerger from the City of Montréal in 2006, Pointe-Claire must pay contributions for services offered by the Agglomeration of Montréal, such as the police, the fire department, public transit, water production, air quality, the municipal court, and property assessment. However, the City of Pointe-Claire has no power of influence over the expenditures of the Agglomeration of Montréal, because the City of Montréal alone holds 87.5% of voting rights, as opposed to barely 12.5% for all of the other 15 demerged cities on the island of Montréal, including Pointe-Claire.

In late January 2018, the City of Montréal imposed an unanticipated increase in contribution fees of 6.3%, which is equivalent to $3.7 million and is four times higher than the rate of inflation. This was $3 million more than expected in the fall of 2017, when our 2018 budget was prepared and adopted. Eleven months later, the City of Montréal has imposed a new substantial increase of $2.1 million, which is once again higher than the rate of inflation of 3.3%.

“The sum of the increases imposed on Pointe-Claire by the City of Montréal for Agglomeration fees since January 2018 represent an 8.9% increase in our contribution fees, which is equivalent to $5.8 million and is five times higher than the rate of inflation. This is a heavy burden for our taxpayers, and we have very few options to compensate for these increases. This year, they will unfortunately affect our tax bills,” said Mayor Belvedere.

The tax bill increase in 2019 for an average single-family home assessed at $394,110 will be $207, $137 of which will go toward the decisions of the City of Montréal and $70 toward the services offered by Pointe-Claire.

Moreover, in order to keep municipal infrastructures and equipment in good condition and reduce their long-term maintenance costs while taking advantage of various government grant programs, the City of Pointe-Claire will continue to carry out various infrastructure projects to ensure the variety and quality of municipal infrastructures and services. Some of our plans for 2019 include:

  • Repairs on at least six streets or street sections;
  • The development of the new Tony-Proudfoot Park;
  • The redevelopment of sports facilities at Valois and Cedar Parks;
  • A new major cultural project at Stewart Hall;
  • New sustainable development commitments;
  • The continued implementation of our Special Planning Programs;
  • More public consultations to encourage commitment.

“Our efficient administration and our commitment to preserve the quality of life and the variety of the public services we offer to everyone remain our priorities. Our city has a bright future, and we will continue to work hard to keep Pointe-Claire an exceptional place to live,” said Mayor Belvedere in conclusion.

 

https://www.westislandblog.com/association-of-suburban-municipalities-react-to-plante-budget/

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