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Beaconsfield lawsuit against City of Montreal over taxes grows to $15 million

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The City of Beaconsfield is taking the City of Montreal to court because it feels it is being overtaxed by the centre city.

The lawsuit continues to increase in price. The original price of the lawsuit was $4 million but over the years it has nearly quadrupled to $15 million and the West Island suburb says the number will continue to rise.

"Since 2020, we are adding every year more to the lawsuit and now it’s up to about $15 million a little bit more than $15 million plus interest," said Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle.

The suit centres around transfer payments that demerged municipalities make to the City of Montreal.

Those payments cover shared services like police, public transport and water but Bourelle says his community is overpaying for those services.

"There’s no doubt we’re getting service but we’re getting limited service for the amount of money we’re paying," he said.

The mayor said Beaconsfield isn’t the only demerged community overpaying.

"We made a calculation that all demerged municipalities actually would be disadvantaged by $122 million between 2020 and 2025," he added.

The City of Montreal declined to comment on the lawsuit while it is still before the courts.

Many other mayors of demerged municipalities are unhappy with how much their communities contribute to transfer payments.

"A resident in the demerged town is paying $1.65 for a basket of services, where the citizens of Montreal are paying only $1," said Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella.

Beaconsfield is the only municipality out of 15 demerged cities and towns taking the matter up in court. But the association of suburban municipalities is not ruling out its own legal battle.

"Where we had tried to be level-headed and say let's come to a negotiated agreement — obviously, that’s not working. So in my mind all other options are on the table right now," Masella said.

Beaconsfield has yet to receive a court date for its lawsuit but it is offering to work things out through a mediator in the hopes of coming to an agreement with the City of Montreal and the province.

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