- Municipal Council
Mount Royal, December 15, 2014 – At this evening’s Council meeting, Mayor Philippe Roy presented the highlights of the Town’s nearly $85 million budget for 2015. He also unveiled the 2015-2016-2017 triennial capital expenditures program, which totals nearly $59 million, of which slightly more than $8 million is earmarked for the coming year.
The 2015 budget includes a 2.17% increase in the tax bill for residential taxpayers under a plan that provides for the preventive maintenance of streets, sidewalks, drinking water lines, sewer lines and municipal buildings. The tax increase for the business and industrial sector will rise a modest 2.07%, which is equal to the inflation rate forecast by the Bank of Canada.
The aliquot share that the Town pays to the Urban Agglomeration of Montreal will increase on the order of 1.5%. Meanwhile, growth in local expenditures has been held to 1.1%. Besides the Town’s maintenance projects, these expenditures allow for an increase in the fees related to various collection contracts and include costs related to the fight against the emerald ash borer. They also take into account the reduction in the QST rebate granted to the Town, which drops from 62.8% to 50% effective January 1, 2015, a key provision of the Quebec government’s transitional fiscal pact for 2015.
In such a context, in order to keep the tax rate increases at a reasonable level, Mount Royal’s elected officials have decided to draw $335,000 from the accumulated surplus.
“When we begin working on each year’s budget, our aim is always to minimize the impact on residents’ tax bills,” says Mayor Roy. “Some years end up being less spectacular than others and that will be the case in 2015. Of course, like every other municipality, the Town has to deal with the changes to the fiscal pact with the Quebec government and the recent adoption of Bill 3 respecting pension plans. We are also continuing our citizen consultation on heritage and urban planning, an important if not very expensive process. With no truly unusual items in its 2015 budget, Mount Royal has decided to pay even closer attention to the quality of its infrastructures.”
Under the 2015-2016-2017 triennial capital expenditures program, the infrastructure work planned for 2015 includes, among other things, the renovation of the chalet at the municipal swimming pool, the creation of a new dog run, the rehabilitation of drinking water and sewer lines and the reconstruction of sidewalks and streets. That the very expensive Rockland overpass reconstruction project does not appear in the program is simply due to the fact that it was included in the 2014 program and that its funding – $6 million in loans and $4.5 million from the accumulated surplus – has already been set aside. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the city of Montreal.
In submitting its 2015 budget, Town of Mount Royal yet again confirms its commitment to managing its finances progressively and responsibly in a context that remains among the most enviable. The coming year will once again see the Roy administration focused on sound prevention.