Surplus of $139.5M in 2017 – “The City had no need to increase taxes for 2018”
Montreal, april 19th, 2018 – Reacting to the tabling of the City of Montréal’s consolidated financial statements for 2017, the Leader of Ensemble Montréal, Mr. Lionel Perez, highlighted the large surplus of $139.5M, a report that put the lie to members of Projet Montréal who had accused the previous administration of leaving “a tremendous deficit” of $358M in the aftermath of the November 2017 municipal elections.
“This significant surplus not only shows that the former administration left Montréal in excellent financial health, but also that Mayor Plante knew the City was heading for a surplus when she prepared her 2018 budget. In these circumstances, the water tax should never have been increased in the 2018 budget, and the increase in taxes on non-residential buildings should have been limited to 0.9%, as in 2016 and 2017, instead of stunning Montréal merchants with an increase of 3%,” said Mr. Perez.
A $358M “hole”, really? Remember that only a few days after the elections, the new mayor accused the previous administration of having squandered Montrealers’ money by creating a $358M “hole” in public finances.
“This is not what I hoped to discover on becoming head of the City of Montréal. A $358 million hole, that’s enormous. It’s tough way to begin a mandate.” ” – Valérie Plante (Le Devoir, November 10, 2017)
The Leader of the Official Opposition is wondering today how this hypothetical “hole” of $358M miraculously transformed into a surplus of $139.5M, a gap of almost half a billion dollars. “Either these people were brazenly lying, or they’re incompetent and they don’t know what they’re talking about. When you think they’re managing a municipal budget of over $5 billion, you should be worried,” concluded Mr. Perez.