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Cities facing ‘unprecedented challenges,’ Montreal mayor says as property taxes rise

Montreal is imposing the highest property tax increases in years as Mayor Valérie Plante says Canadian cities are facing “unprecedented challenges” linked to inflation and climate change. 

Today, Plante released a $6.99-billion budget for 2024 that includes an average tax hike of 4.9 per cent for residential property owners and 4.6 per cent for commercial.

She says overall spending will rise by 3.5 per cent over last year, largely because of rising prices for everything, including snow removal, garbage collection and gasoline. 

Plante told reporters that cities are at the forefront of global upheavals, including the opioid crisis and climate change, and face growing needs related to homelessness and mental heath care.

Cities have also been struggling to shoulder the costs of maintaining public transit services after big drops in ridership as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The biggest cost in Montreal’s budget is public security, at 18.3 per cent, followed by debt servicing, at 16.6 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press