MONTREAL -- The City of Beaconsfield, on Montreal’s West Island, says it plans to sue the City of Montreal to recover what it calls “overpayments of $12 million annually to the Montreal agglomeration.”

Mayor Georges Bourelle confirmed Tuesday that council awarded a mandate to municipal lawyer Marc-André LeChasseur to evaluate its legal options.

“We have been talking about these injustices over and over again ever since I became mayor six years ago,” said Bourelle, who is also vice-president of the agglomeration’s Standing Committee on Finance and Administration.

“Unfortunately, it must be said that the administration of the City of Montreal is turning a deaf ear because it receives an annual surtax from the 15 suburban municipalities. For us, in Beaconsfield, this represents $12 million in overpaid taxes.”

“We can no longer tolerate that Montreal is using complicated mathematical formula to hide surtaxes that break all rules of justice, social and financial equality in managing public funds,” Bourelle said. “In Beaconsfield, the surtax costs each resident $600 per year.”

For a couple that owns a home, Beaconsfield officials say overpayments represent $1,200 in surtaxes; for a family of four, that amount jumps to $2,400.

Nevertheless, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante rejected Bourelle's argument. 

"Where Beaconsfield or other cities might pay more, they pay less as well on other things, so, ultimately I would ask the mayor of Beaconsfield to look at the big picture and not only to target a few elements," she said.