Montréal, October 30, 2012 - In response to the release of the Ville de Montréal’s 2013 budget, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal notes that the city administration has persisted in increasing taxes beyond the inflation rate, even though the city’s economy is struggling to create jobs.
“The city has announced a 3.3% increase in municipal taxes, 50% higher than the inflation rate, which is an estimated 2.2%,” says Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “This increase is ill-advised in a still tough and uncertain economy. Montréal has an abnormally high unemployment rate compared with the rest of the province. At this stage in the cycle, the Board of Trade believes that tax relief is necessary and that the Ville de Montréal should instead reduce spending to free up the funds required for water management.”
“The city’s taxpayers are among the most taxed people in North America, when you consider all levels of government together,” Mr. Leblanc says. “They are entitled to tax relief, particularly given that the Charbonneau commission has shown that reinforcing management processes would create major savings for the city. This is in addition to the savings that could be generated by solving the city’s chronic problem of excessive governance, as recommended in the Côté-Séguin report. Overlapping responsibilities between the central city administration and the boroughs slows decision making and action taking, resulting in additional costs.”
“The Ville de Montréal is beginning a financial reform of the boroughs with a new model to be deployed over two years,” Mr. Leblanc says. “We still need to evaluate whether this approach allows for greater predictability and better defined accountability between the central administration and the boroughs. As the Côté-Séguin report indicated, we must ensure that this decentralization does not increase the political and administrative fragmentation that currently exists.”
“The increased budget for public transit is encouraging news for improving traffic on the city’s roads,” Michel Leblanc says. “Once again, before implementing new projects, we need to ensure that existing infrastructure performs well and is safe. Fluid traffic has to be a priority for the city. We are pleased to see that this budget includes measures to support wealth creation, such as enhancing the Réussir@Montréal program.”
“We look forward to hearing the Mayor speak before the Board of Trade on Friday,” Mr. Leblanc says. “Certain aspects of today’s budget are encouraging; however, the business community is worried about the tax increase.”
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514-871-4000, extension 4015
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