Not payback? Yeah right.

11.25.04

The latest Montreal megacity budget has tax decreases for most of the central and eastern portions of the islands… and tax increases for most of the West Island, including 14 of the 15 municipalities who voted to demerge.

Mayor Tremblay says it’s “not payback” for their votes to demerge… but the map rather belies that statement:

Mayor Gérald Tremblay said that the increases were not meant to punish the demerged boroughs, but were the result of the harmonization of municipal tax rates and the increase in the value of their properties.

What exactly is their justification for raising taxes across the West Island?

Executive Committee Chairman Frank Zampino said that part of the increase in costs is associated with new labour agreements and new responsibilities that have been transferred to the megacity.

You mean, the new labour agreements that were negotiated by unions made more powerful by the forced mergers, who held the city hostage? The same unions that actively campaigned against demergers? Nah, couldn’t be.

If the cities who voted to demerge weren’t sure they made the right decision, this ought to clinch it. The “not punishment” tax increases will last a year, and then the cities who voted to demerge can escape the iron grip of the megacity once and for all.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tara 11.26.04 at 1:07 PM

The article says how much taxes have increased, but not actually what they are, so that they could be compared across the city, which makes it hard to see whether or not it’s true that the tax raises actually harmonize rates.

Reply

2 Francis N. 11.29.04 at 5:42 AM

Sari, what municipalities/neighbourhoods/whatever they are now get taxed and what don’t will shortly become moot anyway. This tax is strictly municipal, that’s true. But it’s the Island Council that retains the bulk of taxation powers for the entire island, and this will be nearly entirely represented by Montreal-elected councillors (remember, we’re working within the rubric of the new city’s population now). It’s not only taxing power, but allocation of resources, which will stand to benefit the city primarily and hurt those who decided to demerge. As much as I disagreed with forced municipal mergers — they’ve taken place across the country and nowhere have things turned out well for anyone — this is the crux of my argument for why we should have stuck with our hideous new city. By leaving it, municipalities, including my own, lose collective power at the expense of the new city and gain little else besides a “City of” beside their names once more.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: