The Union of municipalities of Quebec (UMQ) lays down three conditions for signing a new fiscal pact with the new government of the Coalition avenir Québec. In addition to retrieving the equivalent of a point of QST, the member municipalities are seeking a full payment of municipal taxes on the real property of the government of Quebec and a greater share of the royalties on natural resources.
The president of the UMQ and mayor of Drummondville is Alexandre Cusson, has launched the negotiations for the new fiscal pact at a press conference following a meeting of the board of directors of the UMQ Friday afternoon at the Lévis convention Centre.
“Quebec’s municipalities are heading straight towards the dead end tax, with 70 % of their revenue is from property taxes. This proportion is rather of 50 % elsewhere in Canada. The transition to the digital economy deprives the municipalities of resources to effectively carry out their role”, he launched into the game.
The mayor Cusson recalled that all the political parties in Quebec had taken, before the elections, the commitment to transfer to municipalities the equivalent of one point of pst, which would be more than $ 1.7 billion. “We will remind elected officials of their promises. The new agreement between the government and the municipalities must reflect the central role of municipalities in the provision of direct services to the population. The negotiation of the new fiscal pact begins now,” he said, adding that the responsibilities of the municipalities would certainly not diminish.
“The transition to the digital economy deprives the municipalities of resources to effectively carry out their role ”
Alexandre Cusson, president of the UMQ and mayor of Drummondville
“The new responsibilities should always bring in new revenue. It is time to move to a taxation of the Nineteenth-century tax in the Twenty first century… We jumped a century,” he added before saying a little more about the other requests of the municipalities. “It is not normal that the Quebec government is the only taxpayer not to pay municipal taxes in Quebec. Businesses and taxpayers should not have to make up for the shortfall at the municipal level,” says the one who wishes to find an agreement that meets the expectations of the towns and cities of all sizes and from all regions.
“We are confident of reaching an agreement before the end of the month of September, which is important to know the amounts to which we are entitled for the preparation of municipal budgets. Mr. Legault is committed, it is impossible that we don’t hear”, he added with a smile.
Mr. Cusson has reminded him also that the record surplus announced by the government of Quebec could very well serve to ease the burden on municipalities. “There has been a pact transitional tax where we went to pick up the $ 300 million, and the ending will bring us back to the 2014 level. If, today, the government has a surplus so important, is that the municipalities have been part of the group who has sacrificed large sums over the years,” he concludes.