Tax increase over inflation in Saint Sauveur interest rates blamed

Tax increase over inflation in Saint-Sauveur: interest rates blamed

Data compiled by the team at investigation office Several hundred municipalities show that many Quebec towns and villages have no hesitation in imposing tax increases that outpace inflation. The newspaper met with citizens and mayors of these cities who expressed their point of view.

While inflation in Quebec rose by 6.7% in 2022, the city of Saint-Sauveur increased its taxes by an average of 7.9% for the current year.

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The interest-related debt service costs are one of the main reasons why the local government introduced this interest rate.

“We are really dependent on the Bank of Canada’s rate hike,” said Jacques Gariépy, mayor of Saint-Sauveur for 10 years.

Jacques Gariépy, Mayor of Saint-Sauveur

Photo courtesy of the city of Saint-Sauveur

Jacques Gariépy, Mayor of Saint-Sauveur

“It affects us directly because of the new loans that we have already planned [à 1 ou 1,5%] are over 4.5%,” he added.

In Saint-Sauveur, for example, the increase in the tax bill for an average single-family home with no water or sewerage this year will represent a $177 excess to be paid by owners. 63 percent of single-family homes fall into this calculation.

Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

And the 28% of homeowners who own homes with water and sewer services face an even bigger tax increase of $267.

The other taxpayers, ie those who have an aqueduct but no sewers – who make up the remaining 9% – will receive a $214 increase this year.

“This increase in local taxes is disappointing given that road maintenance is very commonplace and everything generally costs more,” local resident Claire Sinayov, who owns a $260,000 home, told us. We no longer get anything for our money.”

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Another owner we spoke to, Alain Millette, isn’t too surprised by these increases.

“We suspected it, it’s not surprising because everything is more expensive today,” he said. I haven’t seen many changes in terms of services in our area, but it’s shifted more downtown.”

Luc Leblanc has been an owner in Saint-Sauveur since 2002 in the sector without services. He criticizes the management of the local administration and particularly regrets that the municipality’s expenditure has increased by 9.2%.

Luc LeBlanc

Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay

Luc LeBlanc

“The city has allowed itself to develop new services, they don’t control spending, it’s an open tap,” said Mr Leblanc, who ran as a mayoral candidate in the 2021 local election.

He attended the December budget presentation.

“I cringed when I saw the numbers and it’s not the first time it’s happened here.”

According to Mayor Gariépy, the salaries of municipal employees and the shares paid to the MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut and the Sûreté du Québec justified these increases.

The maintenance of roads and sidewalks also has a lot to do with it.

“Ten years ago we were investing $300,000 a year, now it’s almost $3 million,” the mayor said, adding that that doesn’t count the focus the city is putting on developing its service offerings.