New 2006 City of Montreal Budget:
Transfer of gas tax revenue is a tangible investment in Montreal's growth
Montreal, January 20, 2006 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal commends the fact that the agreement to transfer a portion of gas tax revenues to the municipalities is becoming a reality today in the budget presented by the City of Montreal. This means that taxpayers will not see their tax bill go up for the next year. The Board of Trade is pleased to see the first tangible result of the agreement between the governments of Canada and Quebec, allowing Montreal to infuse more revenue into its budget. This is a sorely needed first step towards diversifying the city's revenue sources.
For some time now, the Board of Trade has been lobbying for concrete solutions to address the over-dependence of cities on property taxes and insisting that they be granted new, increased, predictable and recurring revenue sources. In fact, still to this day, approximately three quarters of the City of Montreal's total revenues are derived from property taxes, a situation that limits the City's ability to invest in its economic growth. Still, the addition of gas tax revenues to the budget is a big step in the right direction, stated Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
The Board of Trade believes that city financing must reflect the vitality and economic growth the city generates. In fact, when it comes to sustainable urban development and infrastructures, the challenges a major urban centre like Montreal faces are dramatically different from those faced by smaller cities. Close to 50% of Quebec's population lives in Greater Montreal, and although this population density allows the region to produce 50% of Quebec's GDP, it also creates challenges that are unmatched elsewhere in the province. In this regard, Mayor Tremblay should be commended for trying to respect his election promises while striving to act responsibly in meeting the needs inherent to Montreal's sustainable development, concluded Isabelle Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community for the greater Montreal area and to offer a full range of specialized services to individuals, merchants and companies of all sizes so as to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015