Beaconsfield mayor alleges the city was overtaxed, threatens lawsuit

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle

The city of Beaconsfield has sent lawyer’s letters to the Quebec Government and the city of Montreal informing them it will take them to court if it has to in order to recoup $2M in taxes it believes it was overcharged for.

The city says it overpaid for Montreal Island Agglomeration services that all cities on the island share, including for police protection, the fire department and public transit. The overall annual budget for shared services is over $2B.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle says his city paid its portion of this year’s agglomeration tax under protest, saying it was more than it should be under a formula used since 2008.

The formula determines the portions owed by each of Montreal Island’s 15 demerged cities, based on the value of residential properties built in or before 2008. Residential properties built since 2008 are evaluated each year and can increase the amount owed. Another factor in the formula is the level of commercial real estate in the various demerged cities.

“Our residents have overpaid their agglomeration taxes by $2 million,” Bourelle says. “It’s our role and it’s our responsibility to defend their best interest and that’s what we’re going to be doing right to the end.”

There appears to be a split among demerged municipalities on this issue. Bourelle says cities with higher proportions of older residential buildings have been overcharged this year – and he includes his city, Westmount, Montreal West and Hampstead in that category. 

Cities including Dorval, Montreal East, Pointe Claire and Baie D’Urfe, which have a higher proportion of commercial real estate, are being undercharged, Bourelle says.

The Beaconsfield mayor adds that if his city is refunded the money it believes it is owed then it will lower taxes for Beaconsfield residents as a result.

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