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Projet Montreal’s mileage tax proposal getting the red light

Click to play video: 'Projet Montreal proposes ‘mileage tax’ at weekend convention' Projet Montreal proposes ‘mileage tax’ at weekend convention
WATCH: Mayor Valérie Plante’s Projet Montreal proposed a mileage tax on drivers at its party convention over the weekend. The party pledges to make the tax applicable to the Montreal Metropolitan Community. Global's Tim Sargeant has reaction to this new plan – Apr 12, 2021

It’s an idea that’s not gaining much ground with Montrealers or local politicians: a mileage tax proposed by Projet Montreal that would charge car owners a fee per kilometre driven.

“They’re disconnected from what regular Montrealers are talking about,” Marvin Rotrand, Montreal city councillor for Snowdon district, told Global News.

Rotrand says introducing a new tax on car owners will discourage people from coming downtown and could hurt local businesses.

“It’s always possible that stores and jobs move to the peripheries when people just don’t want to come to the downtown core anymore,” Rotrand said.

Read more: By the numbers: Montreal gas prices and how they’re driving upwards

Montrealers already pay a fuel tax and they’re charged a public transit fee on the registration for each vehicle owned.

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The mayor of a Montreal suburb says trying to encourage people to use public transit by adding a new tax on car use just doesn’t add up in residential areas with low density housing.

“People have no choice in suburban municipalities to use their car,” Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle told Global News.

Read more: Proposal to merge Ile-Perrot and Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil commuter train stations sparks anger

Bourelle says the Plante team should focus more on reducing its spending rather than introducing a new tax.

“I think they should focus on reducing their bloated administrative expenses,” he said.

The Projet Montreal proposal calls for the party to request the Quebec government to apply the tax to all 82 cities and towns that make up Greater Montreal.

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