Non-residential parking tax in Montreal: A categorical No!
Montreal, December 11, 2002 - The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, on behalf of its members, vehemently denounces draft Bill 137 tabled by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Metropolitan Montreal, André Boisclair, under which Quebec's large cities would have the power to levy a special tax on non-residential parking lots.
While the Board of Trade firmly believes it is in the economic interest of Greater Montreal and its constituent cities to diversify and increase their revenues, it also believes just as strongly that this must be accomplished through a more equitable sharing rather than a broadening of the tax base. Indeed, the latter was a guiding principle in the Board of Trade's pre-budget submission made public last week in which it proposed concrete, immediate measures to increase city revenues without introducing new taxes.
There are two reasons the Board of Trade does not support a non-residential parking tax, explained the organization's president, Benoit Labonté. "First, it is an insidious tax that could dangerously affect downtown Montreal's commercial appeal. In our view, such a tax patently contradicts all the efforts the City is making to support the vitality of the downtown core and galvanize the business community around the cause of economic development. Second, beyond its form, this tax adds further to the heavy tax burden of citizens in the Montreal urban agglomeration. And for members of the Board of Trade, this tax is simply unacceptable."
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.
Isabelle Hudon, director, Communications
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4010