The incomprehension and frustration of many residents of Saint-Paulin in Mauricie has not diminished as the tax bill is not reduced as many have asked for, even if payments are postponed by a month.
The tax burden of the majority of taxpayers has increased exponentially, particularly as a result of the new assessment role. The municipality can only distribute the payments over a longer period of time. The first payment due in February would be deferred to March, and so on for the May and July installments.
However, this draft charter was not well received by some citizens who believe the elected officials did not hear their request. “In a month we’ll be as miserable as before,” replied a local resident.
“The only solution we had was to extend the payments by a month,” argued the mayor of Saint-Paulin, Claude Frappier. Impossible to check the budget, and also out of the question for the municipality to take out loans to pay certain debts, he added.
Citizens were also suggested to split their payments. For example, someone who owes $500 for the month of March could pay half in February and then pay the rest before the deadline. “I agree with you what you will do. It will give people a chance to breathe,” one citizen suggested.
At the public council meeting on Wednesday evening in front of an almost full hall, the dissatisfaction of the residents could be heard again. “It was intense. We had no answers to our questions. Yesterday there was a lady, she really wasn’t happy. It was really sad to hear that,” said Christine Bastien, a resident of Saint-Paulin.
“Obviously people aren’t happy with what we decided on the budget, but at the last meeting they asked us to find a way to be more relaxed,” explained Mr Frappier.
He hopes to reduce tax bills next year and assures that in 2024 there will be four installments instead of three. The draft statutes presented on Wednesday are to be adopted by the council in a special session on Saturday.