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Some Montreal residents can expect steep tax bill increases

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Montrealers can expect to see a bump on their next tax bill as many boroughs are raising their local taxes, blaming inflation and the rising costs of contracts.

Some borough mayors warn the tax hikes aren't over yet.

From snow clearing and road painting, to filling potholes, borough mayors say to keep up with rising costs, they're having to spend more.

"We have $143,000 just for the marking of the streets, which is done by [the City of Montreal] itself. They're charging us $143,000," said Anjour Mayor Luis Miranda.

Out of the 11 boroughs that passed their budgets, local taxes are up an average of 9.3 per cent.

Hikes vary from borough to borough. Residents downtown -- where Valerie Plante is mayor -- will see the smallest raise at 5 per cent. The hardest-hit residents will be in Anjou, where taxes will go up 15.3 per cent.

 


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The boroughs are asking the city for more money but Mayor Plante says Montreal is being asked to do more by Quebec and Ottawa without extra financial help.

"It's important for me to remind everybody of the new responsibilities that Montreal has without the expected money, whether it's dealing with homelessness, opioid crisis, mental health, the housing crisis," she said Wednesday.

She says it's up to the boroughs to decide if they want to raise taxes and where to spend it.

In Ville-Marie, it's going towards more inspectors, "mostly to do more inspections of buildings, old buildings, and to prevent any type of tragedy like we went through last spring," Plante said, in reference to the deadly fire in Old Montreal.

But the opposition says the least the city can do is keep payments to the boroughs in line with inflation.

"Their indexation is barely 2 per cent and that doesn't even come close to the inflation that is currently being experienced," said Alan DeSousa, the Saint-Laurent borough mayor and member of the Ensemble Montreal opposition party.

He said many residents feel Montreal spends freely.

"People don't have the same feeling that money is being spent at the city level with that same attention to detail," DeSousa said

Anjou's mayor agrees.

"It's always coming out of the citizens' pockets. We have to start looking at how to reduce expenses," Miranda said.

Borough taxes only make up a small portion of a resident's overall bill. Montreal's budget will be presented in November and some are warning that the local tax hike is a sign of things to come. 

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