Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The mayor Plant does not intend to do as Gérald Tremblay, who in 2005 had withdrawn its budget that broke with its commitment to freeze the taxes of Montreal.
Despite the criticism, Valérie Plant does not intend to revise the budget with tax increases exceeding the inflation that his administration introduced Wednesday. The mayor maintains that it has adhered to its election promise, but she admits to poorly communicated information about taxes.
In the aftermath of the tabling of the budget, the mayor has tried to defuse the anger of a party of Montrealers who accused him of having failed to fulfil his word by imposing average increases of taxes of 3.3 %.
Valerie Plant continues to say that during the election campaign, his promise to limit tax increases to inflation only apply to the property tax in Montreal and no to the water tax and taxes of the district. And, even if the electoral platform of Project Montreal referred to simply as “fees” without further explanation.
“I have to take an act and say that the way it was communicated was not good. The last thing I want is that Montrealers feel that I am lying or that I have not listened to “, she argues in an interview with Radio-Canada. “Because, when you look at the budget in its entirety, one realizes that I followed my commitments. I have invested heavily in public transit, in housing and in economic development. “
That said, the mayor does not intend to do as Gérald Tremblay, who in 2005 had withdrawn its budget that broke with its commitment to freeze the taxes of Montreal. Valerie Plant feels that it cannot change a budget, because its administration does not have financial flexibility enough.
His administration would have preferred more options regarding the increases in taxes, but the mayor claims that she did not want to cut services or pass the bill on to the boroughs “already tapped” by the previous administration.
Choices for the future
The chairman of the executive committee, Benoit Dorais, believes that the administration has made choices that will enable, in the future budget, to put forward the priorities of Project Montreal.
The shortfall of $ 358 million recorded in the aftermath of the election, an amount of 203 million was recurrent expenditure which could seal the future budget, he explained Thursday.
Dorais argues that the administration preferred to apply a share of the $ 183 million in the budget 2018, of which $ 101 million to the pension plans and the related changes to the Quebec sales tax (QST), rather than to spread out the cost over several years. “We stop shoveling ahead, but it is certain that at this moment, it comes to swell the expenditures of the town “, explained Mr. Dorais.
A shadow at the table
Administration Plant-Dorais commits a serious odd by denying having broken its election promise not to raise taxes beyond inflation, considers the specialist in political communication Anne-Marie Gingras. This ” missed “on the plan of the communication will have impacts on the image of projet Montréal.
“The varnish is in the process of breaking up “, shows the professor at the UQAM. According to it, the error is not in and of itself not to have respected the promise, but rather of not having assumed the fact of not keep.
“It is natural that the new governments are unable to fulfill all their promises, but the way you explain this is paramount, “she says, refusing to characterize this odd” beginner’s mistake “.
This could undermine the trust of the population towards the municipal administration, advance-t-it.
“The spirit of the municipal administration is reflected in its communications, this is not something superficial. To communicate frankly, it is to govern, frankly. “
In his opinion, the franchise is as popular as ever in politics, even when it is bad news. “The citizens are able to hear about that they do not like when it is done openly. “
A return on increases in municipal taxes in Montreal
A promise ” naive “
Project Montreal would simply not have had to promise during the election campaign to limit tax increases to the level of inflation, supporting the expert in municipal affairs, and professor, Concordia University Harold Chorney. “I think that Valérie Plante has made this promise a little naively,” he said to the Duty.
That said, he understands that the mayor has defended his choice not to cut services to lower the tax burden on citizens. “The provincial government has promoted the idea that the deficits are toxic and that austerity is preferable, but the impact of austerity has been shown very clearly in Montreal. “
How can we explain the differences?
The increase of taxes planned in 2018 to Montreal is due to the decisions of the central city and the boroughs, but the differences between boroughs are largely due to the variation of the value of the property according to the sectors. If the owners of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, cashing in an average increase of their tax notice two times greater than that of the owners of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles (5.6% compared to 2.8 %), this is not because of the greed of the politicians. In both districts, the property tax imposed by the City of Montreal and the water tax are identical. The tax district is even lower in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie to RDP-PAT. But since the taxes are applied on each $ 100 of property valuation, the gap can be explained by the fact that the value of the property of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie is greater.