Montreal commuters hit with parking tax to pay for transit

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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People using their car in Montreal better be prepared to pay a bit more for the privilege of doing so

If you're a taxpayer and living on the outskirts of Montreal, you better get ready to hold on to your wallet. Montreal has just announced they are going to be jacking up property taxes for suburbanites by as much as 8% next year. The current annual rate of inflation is running at about 1%.

Montrealers should also expect to pay more for the privilege of driving their vehicle in the city. The budget included a tax increase for interior lots. Those rates will jump by $10 per square metre while outdoor lots will spike by $20 per square metre. The move will add another $20 million dollars to city coffers.

Earlier this month a new 21% parking tax took effect in Vancouver. The tax is being currently being fought by a group of dowtown businesses. Similar to Vancouver, all that new parking tax money will flow right into the Montreal transit budget. It is anticipated that the budget for Montreal Transit will be increased to around $450 million next year. This is a 16.7% increase compared to last year.

Needless to say, not everyone is thrilled with the budget as presented. Speaking on behalf of the Association for Suburban Municipalities, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent told CTV news in Montreal:

It's the bad management of the city of Montreal, and I'm not just talking about the questionable contracts, I'm talking the over-bureaucratized system here.

The overall budget introduced by Mayor Tremblay anticipates the City will spend approximately $4.3 billion dollars (roughly equivalent to the GDP of some developing countries!) with average tax bills going up by $154 next year. Tax rates for residents living in Montreal proper are expected to rise by a little over 5.5% and this is amazingly the first tax hike of its kind in almost a decade. Taxes for residential property owners in Vancouver increased by 4.6% in 2010. No word yet if there are plans to set up a similar tax revolt campaign similar to that currently underway on the West Coast.

- post by Daniel


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