After unveiling Montreal’s 2018 budget, the honeymoon-phase of Valérie Plante’s tenure as mayor was officially over.
The Plante administration is raising taxes across the board, with the average Montrealer paying an increase of about 3.3% in taxes. Depending on the borough and what type of residence you live in, the tax hike could be even higher.
Montrealers of all sorts are understandably miffed. Plante promised during her election campaign that taxes wouldn’t rise past the point of inflation. Given the numbers shown in the new budget, that’s obviously not the case.
But despite all the harsh criticisms and calls for a revised budget, Plante isn’t backing down. In fact, Mayor Plante is sticking to her guns, saying an increase in taxes is necessary and that her team is “courageous” for making it happen.
"Ultimately I find it is a courageous position that we took deciding that we're not going to just throw the bill at the future generation,” said Plante on Monday, reports CTV.
“We just need to invest massively. Right now it just costs so much when we do some repairs when it's an emergency so we're taking our responsibility.”
Repairs for water infrastructure were cited by Plante, with the mayor saying that the cost to replace damaged water mains is rather high. And if the city doesn’t invest now, the problem will only get worse in the future.
This is the reason Montreal's water tax will increase as part of the 2018 budget, says Plante.
Investing in infrastructure may be necessary to the longevity of Montreal but at least Plante is self-aware enough to know that no one enjoys a tax hike.
“I know this is not a sexy measure, I know that it’s not fun to get an extra tax [increase] for water,” said Plante, according to The Gazette.