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Quebec Budget 2023: FQM believes citizens could see municipal tax increases

Quebec Budget 2023: FQM believes citizens could see municipal tax increases

23 March 2023 à 2:15 pm

Following the release of the Quebec budget earlier this week, the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM), which represents MRC Pontiac and its 18 municipalities, noted the government’s plan to reduce taxes, but stated that that this budget only partially responds to the concerns of Quebec municipalities.

“Our fellow citizens will welcome the announced tax relief. They may, however, be disappointed to find that the absence of measures to allow municipalities to cope with the substantial increase in the cost of their operations could lead to other municipal tax increases next year,” said FQM President Jacques Demers (translated), who requested that the Table Québec-municipalités (TQM) be convened to discuss the difficulties encountered by members.

The TQM brings together the provincial government, the FQM, the Union des municipalités du Québec, as well as the cities of Montreal and Quebec, and has the mandate to define the relationship between Quebec and local governments. It is chaired by the Minister of Municipal Affairs Andrée Laforest.

“The pressures on municipal finances are major. In addition to the considerable increase in costs for our day-to-day operations such as winter maintenance, the TQM must also meet to discuss our concerns related to the fight against climate change, land use planning and our socio-demographic issues. We must also introduce the concept of territory in municipal financing. Solutions exist and we must sit down quickly to discuss with the government on how to tackle these problems,” said Demers (translated), who also serves as the Mayor of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley and Warden of  MRC Memphremagog.

Here are the budget measures highlighted by the FQM that could have regional impacts:

– Support the vitality of the most economically vulnerable RCMs by investing $85.8 million over three years;
– Provide additional support of $25 million to Local Investment Funds (FLI);
– Promote the hiring of specialized resources in land use planning with direct financial assistance of $43.7 million over five years;
– Support the municipal sector for maintenance and improvement work on the local road network with an additional investment of $200 million in 2024-2025;
– Invest an additional $75 million for calls for projects to improve cellular coverage;
– Implement several measures to fight climate and environmental change;
– Promote housing affordability by investing $1 billion over six years;
– Assist municipalities in modernizing their emergency centers and secondary call centers in modernizing the 911 network.