The City of Montréal's 2008 budget:
Limited flexibility; well-aligned priorities
Montréal, November 28, 2007 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has reacted favourably to the municipal budget presented today by Gérald Tremblay, mayor of Montréal, and Frank Zampino, chair of the executive committee.
In general, when assessing this budget, we must bear in mind that the City of Montréal enjoys very little fiscal flexibility. In fact, more than 70% of municipal spending is earmarked for paying the salaries of municipal employees and servicing the debt. We are therefore pleased by the City's commitment to investing in projects necessary to the growth of Montréal and wealth creation, declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade.
Among the areas that will receive greater investments, the Board of Trade welcomes the decision to invest in major projects such as the Quartier des spectacles and the redevelopment of the Bonaventure expressway. We also appreciate the City's decision to invest in improvements to Montréal's infrastructures, including the public transit system, the road network, and water management, continued Hudon.
At a time when, with Bill 22, the Quebec Government is considering the importance of providing Montréal with new fiscal tools, the municipal budget illustrates yet again the need to give Montréal diversified revenue sources enabling it to invest in wealth creation and reap the ensuing benefits. This year, real estate growth enabled the City to collect an additional $51.8 million but this accounted for only a 1.3% increase in total revenues. We believe the City has an important role to play in creating wealth in Montréal. But if we want it to fully play this role without increasing the overall tax burden on companies and individuals, the City will clearly need to be able to count on revenue sources that grow at the same rate as its economy, concluded Hudon.
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 local 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.
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4047