Montreal mayor Valérie Plante not backing down on tax increases

Mayor Valérie Plante doesn't appear to be backing down in spite of a petition and a rally Sunday protesting the tax hikes presented in her first budget last week.

Plante continued to defend her budget during this morning's executive committee meeting.

Plante said they learned some lessons about communicating this budget and that they heard from Montrealers about their concerns.

"But that being said, I continue to say that this budget is a responsible one especially considering the budgetary hole we had to make up," said Plante.

"It's a budget that we've defended and will continue to do so."

The budget calls for an average residential property tax hike of 3.3% that includes the local borough tax and an increase in the water tax.

Plante said they'll have to invest more in watermain infrastructure that had been neglected for years and by spending on prevention they won't be piling on problems for future generations.

There are two movements calling on the Plante administration to go back to the drawing board: the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation started a petition and a rally organized by a West Island resident is planned for Sunday at noon at Pointe Claire city hall.

The budget also calls for increases in the amounts the demerged cities will have to pay for services shared with the central city such as policing and fire services; that would translate into tax increases in those municipalities as well.