Montreal, October 20, 2021 – Montreal mayoral candidate and Ensemble Montréal leader Denis Coderre and his team held a press conference this morning during which they have pledged to straighten out the City’s finances to limit municipal tax increases to a maximum of 2% next year, while the Conference Board of Canada’s projections are expected to greatly exceed this percentage. In subsequent years, taxes will match inflation.
“After four years of reckless spending by the current administration, which has brought the City to the brink of financial supervision, we will get its affairs in order to be able to cap the municipal tax increase to 2% and keep our promise, unlike Projet Montréal, who broke it after merely three months. The last few years have hit Montrealers hard and, with strict and responsible management, our team will give them some respite, including our merchants, who pay the highest tax rate in Canada,” said Coderre.
Alongside Nadine Gelly, incoming Executive Committee Chair, and Alan DeSousa, Finance Advisor, the party pledged to get the City back on track by working with its administrative services to get an accurate picture of the situation by January 2022. After a program review performed for streamlining purposes, an accurate financial report will be produced in the first year to give Montrealers a clear picture of the situation.
“As a manager, my expertise and strength lie in finding solutions. To do so, we must accurately assess the situation. This will be my first objective as Chair of the Executive Committee, to ensure that the City lives up to Montrealers’ expectations. We want management that will sustain and improve services and our commitments over the long term, not just for one term,” said Nadine Gelly, who is also a candidate for City Councillor in the Champlain-L’Île-des-Soeurs district.
Ensemble Montréal sets the record straight
During the press conference, Ensemble Montréal also amended some statements surrounding the fluctuation in taxes over the last eight years. The current administration has boasted in recent days that it has kept taxes below inflation during its mandate, suggesting that taxes doubled between 2014 and 2017; an assertion based on the actual inflation rate, which is only known the year after the budget is prepared and over which the City of Montreal has no control. In addition, Projet Montréal includes in its calculation the borough’s tax increase, which is not under the control of the city-centre’s Mayor. Taking into account the inflation data known at the time of drafting the budget shows that the Coderre administration had maintained the average tax increase rate of 1.8%, or 0.2% below projected inflation.
“This misinformation shows once again Projet Montréal’s inability to understand finances. It is important to understand that budget preparation and taxation decisions are based on the inflation rate projected for the following year. The Montreal administration has no control on actual inflation rates. Furthermore, for its own political ends, the current administration adds to its calculation the increase in borough taxes, which no Montreal mayor has any control over,” explained Alan DeSousa.
What’s more, just because the current administration boasts that it has not raised taxes above the inflation rate in recent years does not mean that the City’s financial situation is any better. On the contrary: to pay for its billion-dollar spending increase, Projet Montréal has instead decided to empty the City’s coffers, leaving a mere $42-million reserve, to rely on money from the Quebec government, and to increase the debt to 120% of its revenues. This is a worrisome situation for Montrealers, who will end up paying for these decisions one way or another.
Citizens can count on the Ensemble Montréal team to improve services across the island and to restore the City’s vitality through large-scale projects that are within their ability to pay.
“Today, we make a commitment to Montrealers that we will manage their money well with a competent, efficient and responsible team who understands finances as well as their reality,” concluded Denis Coderre.
To view Ensemble Montréal’s electoral platform, click here: https://ensemblemtl.org/en/program/