Montreal set to slash tax and transit hikes in new budget
Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 10:43AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2012 9:50PM EST
MONTREAL—Michael Applebaum looks set to vault his first hurdle as mayor, announcing plans on Thursday to slash tax and transit hikes contained in a draft 2013 budget tabled by his predecessor.
With the opposition supporting Applebaum, Montreal’s new mayor says that the city’s next budget will be a sign that his coalition at city hall is working.
“Each party is coming with knowledge and understanding and everybody is working together in collaboration in order to improve a dossier,” said Applebaum.
Two major changes will be made to the 2013 budget: taxes will go up by 2.2 per cent instead of the proposed 3.3 per cent, mostly through the cancellation of a water tax; and the fares on Montreal’s buses and subways will go up 2 per cent instead of 3 per cent.
To make up the shortfall, $5 million will be injected into the transit corporation’s budget. A monthly pass next year will cost $77, up from the current $75.50.
The city’s opposition Projet Montreal is reluctantly cooperative.
“I'm sure that we can do a better job than that, but in this context right now it is the best that we can have,” said Projet leader Richard Bergeron.
Opposition Vision Montreal likes the major amendments, but wants to see more in the coming months.
“What we are asking to the new executive committee is to work hard on the expenses and the control of the expenses in the coming years because Montrealers should be respected,” said Vision’s Veronique Fournier.
The amendments to the budget will be tabled and put to a vote on Monday. Both opposition parties say they plan to support the changes.