The School Tax is a hot topic in Quebec... now, more so than ever. That's because Legault and the CAQ government have just lowered the tax for some of the richest homes in Quebec.
Not only has he reduced the taxes in areas like Westmount and the Laurentiens, where many of Quebec's ultra-rich own property, he's also managed to lower taxes for himself and many other members of the CAQ.
TL;DR Legault's CAQ government has decided to give a huge tax cut to some of Quebec's wealthiest property owners by way of a unique school tax rate. He managed to save himself $3000 on top of that.
While the cuts to Legault's own taxes aren't as staggering as the cuts to some of the super rich in Quebec, it's still disconcerting to see Legault and five of his party members benefitting from this tax cut. Did he just think we wouldn't notice?
In Montreal, there is a Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire and they handle the taxes for all five school boards on the island. Throughout the rest of Quebec, every school board handles their own taxes.
The school tax makes up about 20% of the $2 billion budget of school boards on the Island. That means the school boards of Montreal, alone, rely on these taxes for about $400,000,000. Yes you counted those zeros right — that's four hundred million dollars.
These taxes work to fund the maintenance of school buildings, the cost of heating and lighting schools, and the management of education centres.
The tax is based on a standardized assessment of the value of a property. What Legault has done is drop the tax rate for properties with the hightest value. Of course this means that those properties — mansions, we should say — which contributed most to the school funds will now contribute less.
This doesn't mean that everyone gets to pay less, though. The school board's budget dictates the total amount required from the school tax — so if one house is now paying less, it means that other homes must make up the difference.
In the case of the Desmarais family's Domain Sagard manor, one of the most extensive estates in the province, the difference comes in at a whopping $111,449.89, according to Le Journal de Montréal.
As for our dear leader Legault, he will be taxed $3000 less, and at least 5 of his ministers will be saving themselves at least $1000 each this year in school taxes. Their plan to reduce taxes also comes with a promise that they won't raise other taxes or cut any public services. We'll see.
This tax is also a blessing for some big businesses in Quebec. Companies Alcan and Alcoa have five properties across the province. Their tax break comes in at a cool $1.3 million.
Stay tuned for more CAQ news.