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Despite controversy, Valérie Plante’s Montreal 2018 budget adopted

Click to play video: 'Montreal votes on 2018 budget' Montreal votes on 2018 budget
WATCH: Montreal city councillors vote on Valérie Plante's controversial municipal budget, which plans to raise taxes above the rate of inflation. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Jan 24, 2018

The vote to adopt Montreal mayor Valérie Plante‘s $5.47-billion budget for the city has passed along party lines.

Forty councillors voted in favour, while 24 opposed.

READ MORE: Montreal budget 2018 tax increases target homeowners

The budget is expected to set the spending priorities for the year, however it only passed after an acrimonious debate that lasted almost all day Tuesday.

READ MORE: Montreal’s mayor criticized for too much English in city’s budget documents

Councillors opposing the budget spoke out and argued against it, saying the 3.3-per-cent tax increases imposed on home owners is far too steep and difficult for some to absorb.

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WATCH BELOW: Protesters rally against Montreal budget

Click to play video: 'Rally in Pointe-Claire calls for Montreal budget to be revisited' Rally in Pointe-Claire calls for Montreal budget to be revisited
Rally in Pointe-Claire calls for Montreal budget to be revisited – Jan 21, 2018

“Her initial budget will be to not listen to the population, to ignore the cry of the less fortunate, whether they be renters, small merchants,” opposition city councillor Lionel Perez said.

Perez introduced two motions to amend the budget — one offering local merchants compensation to help them deal with revenue losses due to road work, and the other to lower the water tax on home owners.

Changes in total tax charges between 2017 and 2018 by borough for residential and non-residential properties, as presented in the City of Montreal’s budget, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. City of Montreal

READ MORE: Valérie Plante elected first female mayor of Montreal

Both were defeated by Plante’s Projet Montréal team, which holds a majority of council seats.

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The budget calls for spending increases of 5.2 per cent and will hike taxes on home owners by 3.3 per cent — more than double the rate of inflation.

READ MORE: Protesters denounce Mayor Valerie Plante’s budget outside Montreal city hall

WATCH BELOW: Montreal’s 2018 budget

Wednesday morning, Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa warned a dangerous precedent was being set because the budget was passed before the city’s capital works budget, which sets spending on major projects.

READ MORE: Montreal suburban mayors and residents stunned over tax hike

“Mayor Plante … you should apologize to all Montrealers … say you’re sorry,” DeSousa said in council chambers during the budget debate.

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Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough Mayor Jim Beis warned about the consequences his residents face with this budget.

In the 2018 budget, Montreal’s demerged cities will have to pay more in their annual contributions, Weds. Jan. 10, 2018. City of Montreal

“We, in the boroughs, are faced with an influx of taxes now that we have to impose to the residents and we, ultimately, will possibly cut or raise rates for the use of our sports facilities locally,” Beis said.

READ MORE: Montreal will add 300 hybrid buses to STM in 2020

Thursday, the agglomeration budget, which sets rates for the surrounding suburban cities and towns on the island, is also expected to be adopted.

READ MORE: Residents and mayors of demerged cities call for Plante to revisit budget

Fees charged to the demerged municipalities for common island-wide services, such as public transit, police and fire protection, are increasing by more than five per cent on average.

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WATCH BELOW: Valérie Plante was elected mayor Nov. 5

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