Business leaders react to budget: Montreal ‘went further than what we had been hoping for’
Local business groups were elated at Mayor Valérie Plante’s decision to cut non-residential property taxes in 2021 — though they cautioned the city’s downtown core will need urgent attention if the economic recovery is to take hold.
Most business owners should see their fiscal burden fall next year thanks to a lowering of the so-called differentiated tax rate and an increase in the threshold at which the rate applies, Plante said Thursday at a press conference to unveil a balanced 2021 budget. Montreal introduced the differentiated rate for non-residential buildings in time for the 2019 fiscal year, shifting a bigger share of the burden to more valuable properties.
“There was one move to make: reassuring Montrealers and businesses that the tax burden wasn’t going to increase,” Michel Leblanc, head of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, said in a phone interview.
Montreal “went further than what we had been hoping for,” added Leblanc, whose group had urged the Plante administration to keep any tax increases below the inflation rate. “They did what was required at this critical time.”
More than 90 per cent of non-residential property owners will benefit from some sort of tax break in 2021, the city said Thursday.
For non-residential buildings valued at under $750,000, which represent about two-thirds of all non-residential real estate, the tax reduction will amount to 16 per cent, the city said. In the case of a $750,000 property, the city’s decision will result in annual savings of more than $4,000, Plante said.