Couil­lard vows slice of sales tax for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

Premier Philippe Couil­lard is promis­ing to al­lo­cate one per­cent­age point of the prov­ince’s 9.975 per cent sales tax to cities and towns if the Lib­er­als are re­elected on Oct. 1.

Couil­lard made the prom­ise Thurs­day while at­tend­ing the gen­eral meet­ing of the Que­bec Union of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Gatineau.

On Wed­nes­day, the union had com­plained that cities and towns must rely al­most ex­clu­sively on prop­erty taxes as a source of mu­nic­i­pal fund­ing — a sys­tem dat­ing from the 19th cen­tury and a fis­cal dead end.

Dur­ing a speech that re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion, Couil­lard said mu­nic­i­pal fund­ing is in need of an elec­tro-shock and that he agreed with the union’s com­plaint.

Any even­tual trans­fer of rev­enue from the one per­cent­age point of sales tax would re­place the $3.1 bil­lion al­ready trans­ferred di­rectly each year by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Meet­ing with re­porters af­ter his speech, Couil­lard fig­ured rev­enues from the sales tax would “al­ways” in­crease, bar­ring a re­ces­sion. Presse Cana­di­enne

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