WATCH: Montreal's new budget hits demerged cities hard
If you live in one of Montreal's 15 demerged cities and thought you were safe from Valerie Plante's tax hike, guess again.
As part of the new 2018 budget, the City of Montreal is increasing agglomeration fees - money paid by demerged cities for police, firefighters, water and other services - by an average of 5.3 per cent.
Agglomeration fees make up a large portion of a demerged city's budget, which leaves many Mayors with a tough choice.
"Am I going to pass this $465,000 on to my residents, or am I going to try and do something to absorb it with a surplus or somehow make some other cuts?" Montreal-West Mayor Beny Masella told CTV Montreal after learning his city will see a nine per cent increase. Montreal-West and a number of other cities have already passed their 2018 budgets.
In Westmount, where the agglomeration fee increase is 6.7 per cent, Mayor Christina Smith has not yet passed a budget but said most of the work was done and the substantial hike came out of left field.
"We were given no indication it would be anything greater than a cost of living increase," Smith said. "We have not passed our budget yet, so obviously we have to go back to the drawing board. I’m very disappointed there wasn’t more collaboration, no heads up on this."
Agglomeration fee increase by dollar (and percentage) for each demerged city are:
- Baie-D'urfe - $628,600 (5.7 per cent)
- Beaconsfield - $1,040,600 (5.2 per cent)
- Cote-St-Luc - $950,300 (3.5 per cent)
- Dollard-Des-Ormeaux - $2,082,200 (5.3 per cent)
- Dorval - $2,901,400 (4.2 per cent)
- Hampstead - $389,100 (4 per cent)
- L'Ile-Dorval - $4,900 (7.1 per cent)
- Kirkland - $818,200 (2.8 per cent)
- Town of Mount-Royal - $4,458,400 (9.8 per cent)
- Montreal-East - $550,300 (3.2)
- Montreal-West - $465,400 (9 per cent)
- Pointe-Claire - $3,691,400 (6.3 per cent)
- Senneville - $117,900 (3.6 per cent)
- Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue - $695,900 (7.4 per cent)
- Westmount - $3,459,900 (6.7 per cent)