Projet Montreal promises low tax increases in wake of budget shortfall
Valerie Plante isn't even the mayor yet and she already says she has some bad news to deal with.
Her administration said that it has been left a $358-million dollar budget shortfall by the Coderre administration, or about seven percent of the city of Montreal's $5.2-billion budget.
In September. Mayor Denis Codere said Montreal was facing a $31-million deficit, after having a $139-million surplus in April, a cost he said was due to salary increases negotiated in the latest union contracts.
The mayor-elect said part of the deficit is attributable to spending on pension plans for city employees, and part could be for other spending, although she could not get into the specific details.
"It is huge and it's going to take a bit of time to find out what happened and also where are we going to find the money for this missing money," said Plante.
It is very common for governments of all levels to say that previous administrations have not been accurate about accounting and budgeting which make it hard to live up to campaign promises.
Plante, who said during the campaign that she would cut about $21 million in spending on city employees and cut property taxes, is now saying she will do her best to limit tax increases.
"One thing that needs to be said is we're not going to raise taxes above the inflation rate, that's something I want all Montrealers to know. And for the rest I'm surrounded by a very competent team and so we will find ways to come up with a good budget," said Plante.
Under provincial law Montreal is not supposed to run a year-to-year deficit.
Councillors are expected to approve the next fiscal year's budget by Jan. 31, 2018.