Taxes and spending up in Montreal’s 2015 budget

MONTREAL — Mayor Denis Coderre introduced what he considers a historic budget for the city of Montreal.

The $4.89 billion budget is down by 0.3 per cent compared to last year. He said that’s the first decrease since the new city was created in 2002.

However, while the mayor is insisting spending and taxes are under control, both are going up.

Tax hikes

Overall taxes are increasing by an average of 2.2 per cent, combining both central city and borough taxes and fees.

Eight boroughs will see increases of more than 2.0 per cent — in line with the estimated rate of inflation.

Spending increases

Spending is also increasing in many areas.

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The STM and AMT mass transit services are getting more money.

Funds to repair and rebuild roads, as well as the budget for snow removal, are also going up in 2015.

One of the biggest areas where cuts are being made is on salaries and benefits.

City officials hope to shave the equivalent of 410 full-time jobs this year.

With Bill 3, Mayor Coderre hopes to save more than $100 million in pension-plan costs.

Labour costs still account for more than 49 per cent of the overall all budget.

WATCH: Jamie Orchard speaks with Karim Boulous, a city hall analyst about Mayor Denis Coderre’s controversial budget.

WATCH ABOVE: We asked Montrealers “Are you getting your money’s worth?”