Car Owners In Greater Montreal Will Soon Get Hit With A New Fee To Fund Public Transit
The tax is expected to take effect in 2024.
Car owners across Montreal, including the suburbs and even off the island, will have more to pay for their annual vehicle registration tax in 2024. The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) is set to collect a $59 registration tax on passenger vehicles, which is expected to raise more than $125 million a year to fund public transit in Greater Montreal.
The tax will apply to all passenger vehicles registered in the CMM and the City of Saint-Jérôme and will be indexed annually based on the consumer price index. Since car owners in Montreal have already been paying this fee since 2011, the fee will simply go up from its current price of $45.
The move was recommended by the Transport Commission in a February 2019 report to help diversify the sources of revenue paid to the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) and finance the development, operation and maintenance of the network.
The move comes at a time when the ARTM is facing a significant deficit due to the sharp drop in ridership caused by the pandemic. The financial framework for metropolitan public transit will also have to integrate the operating and capital costs of several new projects within a few months, including the REM light rail system, the extension of the blue metro line and the implementation of reserved lane service.
While the projects will expand public transit offerings in the region, they will also drive up operating costs, from $3.2 billion in 2019 to $5.7 billion in 2028.
An agreement between the CMM and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), which needs to update its computer systems to accommodate the new fee. The tax collection will start on January 1 of next year.
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