The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

The Ville de Montréal budget: Prudent management of public finances at the heart of a successful economic recovery

As the voice of the city’s business community, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal presented its brief as part of the Ville de Montréal’s pre-budget consultations.  Now in its second year, the Chamber believes this exercise is essential to help the city fully understand the community's expectations and the potential impact of its budget choices.

This year’s consultation takes place in a health and economic crisis. The municipal government is faced with increased spending and a sharp reduction in revenue, resulting in a significant budget deficit. In addition, all of this is taking place amid great uncertainty as to how the situation will evolve in the coming months.

Faced with this exceptional situation, the Chamber is presenting recommendations aimed at ensuring the city’s financial stability, promoting economic recovery and maintaining a competitive business environment.

The following is an overview of our recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Establish a plan to limit the city’s expenditures in areas under the jurisdiction of the Québec and federal governments.

Recommendation 2: Rationalize spending to preserve municipal services inherent in the city’s scope of operations.

Recommendation 3: Limit any increase in the tax burden tied to inflation in order to maintain a business environment conducive to economic recovery.

Recommendation 4: Continue efforts to reduce the property tax gap between non-residential and residential properties to enhance the area's competitiveness in an economic crisis.

Recommendation 5: Consider a temporary reduction in the property tax rate as part of a process to reduce the tax burden on downtown merchants.

Recommendation 6: Prepare a budget that explicitly relies on extraordinary financial support from the Québec and federal governments, without resorting to a one-time permission to run a deficit.

Recommendation 7: Provide temporary regulatory relief to industries particularly hard hit by the crisis and to downtown businesses.

Recommendation 8: Start the decontamination of lots in Eastern Montréal for their requalification.

Recommendation 9: Suspend the By-law for a diverse metropolis and revise it following a new economic analysis of its effects in a recession.

Recommendation 10: Initiate a project to standardize and coordinate processes between the boroughs and the downtown area.

Recommendation 11: Rely more on green taxation applied in a harmonized way in the Montréal metropolitan community (CMM) in accordance with the user pay principle.

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