BEACONSFIELD, QC, Jan. 18, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - While the Municipal Council of the City of Montréal is preparing to officially adopt its 2022 budget of 6.46 billion dollars on Friday, the City of Beaconsfield increases its claim to 6 million dollars to recuperate taxes paid in excess for regional Agglomeration services.
"This is a matter of fundamental fairness for us. For three years now, our residents have been paying an additional 2 million dollars per year with no added services, whereas Montréal has lowered its contribution and obtained more services over the same period. This situation contradicts the principles of municipal taxation of the Québec government: each taxpayer contributes to the cost of services in proportion to the benefits obtained," reiterates Beaconsfield's Mayor Georges Bourelle.
This injustice started in 2019 with the adoption of a Ministerial Order that differed from the rules established in the 2008 agreement on the reconstitution of the municipalities following the demergers in 2006. The new calculation algorithm became incomplete by the omission of the neutrality factor, thereby distorting the historic equity that had previously established the proportionate shares of the 16 municipalities on the island of Montréal for regional services, such as police and fire services, public transit, drinking water and waste water management.
In 2020 and 2021, the Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest, tried unsuccessfully to find consensual solutions with Montréal who rejected them all. "All propositions aiming at re-establishing equity and justice would increase Montréal's contribution and reduce ours. That is the only reason for Montréal's continued stonewalling," explains Mayor Bourelle.
The mayor of Beaconsfield states that his administration has taken all useful and necessary actions with the Québec government as well as with the City of Montréal to address this overtaxation prior to resorting to legal procedures in order to secure and protect the rights of the citizens of Beaconsfield.
The injustice will get worse
Mayor Bourelle also notes that the injustice against Beaconsfield and, consequently, other municipalities with high residential density on the island of Montréal will be exacerbated by increasing property values which will be reflected in the next three-year (2023-2024-2025) property evaluation roll. Experts project an average increase of 30% in residential property values, but little change for commercial and industrial properties. This penalizes in particular the municipalities of Beaconsfield, Westmount, Mount-Royal, Hampstead, Kirkland, Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Montreal-West.
"This injustice is intolerable. It is unconceivable to pay more taxes without receiving additional services, just because of a distorted algorithm resulting in inequitable sharing of regional service costs. It unnecessarily reduces the contribution of municipalities that have many businesses and industries at the expense of cities where the municipal taxes are paid, for the most part, by the citizens," concludes Mayor Bourelle.
SOURCE City of Beaconsfield
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