‘We’re thought of as idiots’: Montrealers are in good spirits about big housing tax hikes

The hefty housing tax increase has not gone down well with Montreal residents, many of whom are harshly critical of their city’s management of public finances.

• Also read: Budget 2024: a record tax increase for Montrealers, but no spending cuts for the city

“It doesn’t make sense, especially when we start our family. It’s scary and doesn’t make you want to stay in Montreal,” laments Patricia Guilbault, mother and co-owner of a condominium in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, who is expecting her second child.


Patricia Guilbault Photo Olivier Faucher

His district is the one where the residential tax increase announced Wednesday by the city of Montreal is the highest, reaching 7.2%. On average in the metropolis, the increase is 4.9%, a high since 2010.

Mayor Valérie Plante suggested her city would rather reach into Montrealers’ wallets than cut spending, a decision that was difficult to digest for most citizens Le Journal spoke to on Wednesday.

“We are disgusted”

Many have also pointed to the recent controversies our investigative office uncovered about expensive trips and meals at the Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal, as well as the mayor’s wine bottles.

“The small meals from right to left, the $347 oyster dishes, the trips to Mozambique, we understand that we are disgusted and considered idiots,” criticizes Camille Chagnon, 41 years old and owner of a house in Pierrefonds. Roxboro.


Camille Chagnon and her two dogs Eddie and Sophie Photo Olivier Faucher

She expects this increase will cause her to pay $300 to $400 more, even though her tax bill has already increased significantly due to the jump in her home’s property valuation in 2022.

“So rethink your approach and eliminate a few positions. It hurts for us. We’ll take it in our teeth,” breathes Ms. Chagnon.

“Spend less and think more about families,” adds Ms. Guilbault.

Difficult for pensioners

Demetri Elias, who was raking in front of his home in the same district, explains that it is “even more difficult” for pensioners like him to absorb this increase.

“Any increase means we have to make cuts elsewhere, for example in food. If they show that money improves our environment, perhaps that can be acceptable. But I don’t see anything else.”

The same applies to Giro Aniello, who, when asked whether the city manages its budget well, answers “not quite”.


Giro Aniello Photo Olivier Faucher

“We have enough! “At the end of the month we have no money left to pay all the bills,” protests the 82-year-old pensioner.

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