Renters could feel the effects of Montreal's property tax increase: councillor

The property tax increases in the Plante administration's maiden budget won't just be felt by homeowners — renters could feel the pinch, too.

The budget, unveiled Wednesday, will see homeowners hit with an average 3.3 per cent property tax increase. Owners of some apartment buildings, however, could face larger increases — increases which will be passed down to renters.

Marvin Rotrand, the longtime city councillor for the Snowdon district, says the hike could especially be jarring in his home Cote-des-Neiges-NDG borough.

"In my own borough, apartment buildings will see a 7 per cent tax increase," Rotrand says.

Building owners can legally pass that increase along to tenants. That, combined with a dramatic increase in property values could mean double-digit increases for renters.

And that, Rotrand suggests, could adversely affect the poor and seniors on a fixed income, for instance.

"We get 70 per cent of our money in property taxes," he says. "That doesn’t take capacity to pay into account. There may be seniors who are home rich but income poor, [on a] fixed income, and suddenly they’re facing tax increases year after year. So we’ve got to look at how we can do something different.”