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Montreal: the City wants a tax deferral for low-income homeowners

The City of Montreal wishes to offer a property tax payment deferral for low-income homeowners.

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This measure would allow these households not to pay their tax bill increase before the sale of their property. They could thus maintain a stable bill for the next few years.

For a single person, the low-income threshold is $22,060 after tax in cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants like Montreal, according to Statistics Canada data. About one in five Montreal households reported living below the low-income cutoff in 2021.

In these times of inflation and rising taxes, the opposition believes that the tax burden of these Montrealers must be reduced.

Ensemble Montréal therefore asked the administration to offer a tax freeze for low-income seniors until the sale of their property.

At Tuesday’s city council, the Plante administration accepted the opposition’s proposal and even suggested that this property tax deferral apply to anyone with a low income, not just seniors.

Valérie Plante’s team therefore reiterates an election promise made in 2021 when it undertook to create a tax deferral program for low-income homeowners.

Contrary to what she had announced during the campaign, this postponement will not affect all Montreal seniors, but only those with low incomes.

The support of Quebec necessary

In its amendment to the opposition motion, the Plante administration recalled that “the City of Montreal does not have the powers to set up a property tax deferral program on its own.”

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“The property tax deferral is extremely important […]. But above all, it must be said, it will not be resolved by the City of Montreal, we absolutely need the government of Quebec,” said Councilor Caroline Bourgeois, who proposed the amendment.

The City has increased taxes by 4.1% for 2023, the sharp increase since 2011. For some Montrealers, this increase, combined with a jump in property value, increases their bill enormously.

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