Taxing non-residential parking spaces in Montreal: The Board of
Trade of Metropolitan Montreal reiterates its firm opposition
Montreal, October 30, 2003 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, on behalf of its some 7,000 members, firmly opposes any new proposal aimed at giving Quebec's major cities the power to collect special taxes on non-residential parking spaces.
Indeed, the Board of Trade had already expressed its disapproval in December 2002 regarding the proposed amendment to Bill 137 put forth by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Metropolitan Montreal at the time.
While the Board of Trade strongly believes that the Montreal urban agglomeration and its cities must diversify and expand their revenues, it believes just as strongly that they must do so through a more equitable sharing of the tax base and not on the backs of taxpayers.
Any measure aimed at increasing the already heavy tax burden of Montreal's citizens is simply unacceptable. The Quebec government must face its responsibilities regarding municipal financing, and it certainly is not respecting the financial commitments it made in the City Contract of Montreal when it asks its citizens to contribute more, declared Benoit Labonté, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
The provincial government will not effectively resolve the municipal shortfalls by taking a backdoor approach and imposing such an insidious tax. What the cities need, especially Montreal, are new sources of recurring revenue and not a tax that could dangerously sap downtown's commercial appeal, continued Mr. Labonté.
The imposition of a parking tax on non-residential spaces by the City of Montreal blatantly contradicts all its efforts to support the vitality of the downtown area and mobilize the business community around the cause of economic development, concluded the Board of Trade's president.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. Its objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers. The Board of Trade relies on its three service branches - Info entreprises, the Electronic Commerce Institute, and the World Trade Centre Montréal - to offer specialized services to the greater business community.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015