Better tax fairness for Montreal, calls for Valérie Plante
Less than a week before the provincial elections are held, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante reiterates: the next government will have to offer better tax fairness to cities. This is what she said during a meeting of the city’s executive committee, held on Wednesday.
The Mayor offered examples of expenditures imposed on Montreal that the provincial government should contribute to. Water purification or the purchase of land for the construction of schools are among the examples cited. Sometimes, municipalities have to give land they own to the government for the construction of schools, without ever receiving any compensation.
“It makes no sense to ask to pay for school grounds out of pocket,” lamented Valérie Plante. “We are open to collaboration, but at some point, specific examples are added to other specific examples, and it starts to cost Montrealers dearly”.
Remember that Bill 40 obliges municipalities to cede land belonging to them free of charge when the school service centers claim it for the construction of a school. Previously, school boards had to acquire land at zero cost, but they did not have the power to compel a municipality to provide a particular site.
According to the mayor, “every stone must be lifted in order to review the property tax model, which does not hold up”. “If the government does not take its financial responsibility to help cities do their jobwe will have to pass the bill on to the tax accounts of citizens,” warns Ms. Plante.
The « real business »
In order to present her priorities for the elections, in particular questions of tax fairness, Valérie Plante invited each provincial leader to meet her at Montreal City Hall. All accepted his invitation. It only remains for him to discuss with the liberal leader Dominique Anglade, who will come to make her turn on Friday.
It is important for the mayor to “discuss openly with the leaders”, to “talk about real business”. The topics of discussion were public safety, the housing crisis, global warming and public transit.
Valérie Plante also took advantage of their visit to suggest that a public question period be established at the National Assembly. Such a session takes place every month at the National Assembly, and could be transposed to Quebec, according to Ms. Plante.
“It is important to have a direct connection with the citizens, and not just during the election period: every month,” concludes the mayor.