Data compiled by the team at investigation office Several hundred municipalities show that many Quebec towns and villages have no hesitation in imposing tax increases that outpace inflation. The newspaper met with citizens and mayors of these cities who expressed their point of view.
The city of Trois-Rivières, which is legally obliged to introduce the collection of compostable materials, has had to significantly increase municipal taxes this year, a situation that worries citizens who fear that they will not be finished with their surprises.
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According to the municipal budget presented last December, Trois-Rivières plans to spend an additional $25 million in 2023, out of a total budget of $339.7 million. An amount of $11.2 million or 61% of this increase is allocated to residue collection. Property taxes will rise as a result by 7.17%, which is about $200 a year on a $205,000 home, an increase that’s higher than the 6.7% average inflation rate in Quebec last year.
Photo Agency QMI, Andréanne Lemire
Ramón and Bernadette Salas
“For low-income people and even renters who are footed by landlords, it’s going to make a difference, especially as it comes on top of everything else that’s on the rise,” said Bernadette Salas, a Three Rivers resident.
Daniel Cournoyer, deputy mayor of the city of Trois-Rivières, says the administration had no choice but to proceed with this increase.
Photo courtesy of the City of Trois-Rivières
Daniel Cournoyer, deputy mayor of Trois-Rivieres
“The collection of compostable materials will start next April. It had to work this year or we would have been fined and the full cost would have to be paid this year. Other cities introduced the service 10 years ago, we have it this year. The significantly increased costs for the transport of recycling bins and garbage cans must also be taken into account. In some places in Mauricie, prices have gone up by 300%!”
Ms Salas and her husband Ramon Salas, who raised their family in Trois-Rivières, fear there may be more surprises in store.
“They present us with a higher budget where everything costs more. One wonders what services they will cut into to arrive. The city may cut library and swimming pool services, as well as snow removal, according to comments from some councillors. It’s discussed in small committees, so even the city councilors don’t know everything, not to mention the citizens, who don’t get enough involved,” complains Ramon Salas.
Bernadette Salas does not agree at all with the idea of seeing services declining.
“We only saw the city’s snow plow on our street once this year. Citizens must come to terms with each other and rely on their contracts with private snow removal companies to clear the snow!”