City of Montréal 2012 Budget: both conservative and responsible
Montréal, November 30, 2011 – “Given the City’s limited means and leeway in a very difficult financial context, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased with this budget, which is both conservative and responsible,” said Board of Trade President and CEO Michel Leblanc.
The Board of Trade had recommended that property taxes be raised at least as much as the rate of inflation, as stated in the report titled A City that Lives Up to Our Aspirations, prepared by the task force commissioned by the organization and co-chaired by Marcel Côté and Claude Séguin. “We find the 2.5% and 0.5% increases in property and water tax reasonable considering that inflation is expected to be 2.7% and that the Quebec and federal governments are expecting revenues to grow by 6% next year,” continued Michel Leblanc.
“We felt that the tax hikes in last year’s budget were excessive since the recovery was not on solid footing and the City was not making much of an effort to cut spending. For that matter, we still think the City can do more in terms of rethinking its governance and containing expenditures,” added Leblanc.
“While the City’s plan to trim 1,000 jobs by the end of 2013 is a smart move, eliminating positions and services won’t be enough. It also has to learn to be more efficient at a lower cost. We think it’s time to start thinking about how the boroughs are grouped together, sharing local services and the number of elected officials. The Côté-Séguin report contained many recommendations in this regard,” added Leblanc.
“We’re happy to see the continuation of the Success@Montréal program and the creation of the East-end Montréal Development Fund, two excellent economic development initiatives. Funding such influential projects as The Space for Life, Pôle Maisonneuve, the Cité portuaire and the l’Assomption district projects are vital for the development of the Port of Montréal and will have a positive impact on the City’s vitality,” went on the CEO.
“Lastly, we wholeheartedly support Montréal’s request for more equitable sharing of public pension costs, which is essential if the City hopes to put its fiscal house in order. The Government of Québec must make sure that the City and other interested municipalities can share these costs equally with their employees, as opposed to the current situation where the City shoulders 70% of the expense,” concluded Michel Leblanc.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.
Interim Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015