The City of Montreal could lose up to half a billion in revenues because of the COVID-19. Therefore, it will announce a freeze of all hires, learned our Bureau of investigation.
The administration of mayor Valerie Plant should make the point Thursday afternoon on the state of the finances of the City, in connection with the COVID-19.
According to our information, she will present several scenarios of loss of income, as had been done by the department of public Health for the number of cases of coronavirus a few weeks ago.
According to the most optimistic scenario, which is based on a rapid recovery of the economy, the City will lose more than$ 250 Million.
The most pessimistic scenario, that is, on a recovery in September, reported losses in excess of$ 500 Million on a budget of a little more than$ 6 billion, a-t-on learned.
In both cases, the revenues of the Société de transport de Montréal are counted.
Always according to our information, the administration Plant will require more services to cut down on their expenditure budget. Some of the larger projects could be put on ice because of the crisis.
Valerie Plant will require in particular the support of Quebec to deal with the situation.
In addition, the mayor is expected to announce a freeze on new hires.
“It is sure that there will be a decrease in the revenues compared to what we had budgeted”, said the chairman of the executive committee, Benoit Dorais,
while saying that it was “too early” to put precise figures.
He had insisted that Montreal was not in the same situation that Vancouver, for example, where the mayor spoke of a bankruptcy of the city because of the COVID-19.
Last year, the City of Montréal recorded a surplus of$ 250 Million, in particular due to greater than expected revenues related to the real estate transfer tax (the famous welcome tax) and the building permits.
However, since the beginning of the containment measures, sales of residences have been greatly reduced, and a part of the residential construction has just resumed Monday after a month break.
With the decline in travel, the number of traffic tickets given to motorists could also fall, which would mean another loss of revenue for the City of Montreal.