Montreal reports strong finances for 2021 fiscal year

Click to play video: 'Some suburban mayors critical of Montreal’s financial report'
Some suburban mayors critical of Montreal’s financial report
WATCH: The state of Montreal's finances is solid according to city officials who released their financial report showing revenues outpaced expenses keeping the city in the black. But that's not the case for the agglomeration council. The finances for all the cities and towns on the island of Montreal are in the red and the suburban mayors aren't happy about it. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – May 11, 2022

The City of Montreal’s finances are good, officials report.

Officials are reporting a $293 million surplus for the 2021 fiscal year.

Revenues of the operating budget are up by 2.5 per cent more than the previous year.

A lot of the increases is being driven by a strong real estate market which netted the city an additional $161 million mostly from the welcome tax and fees collected on new construction permits for housing starts.

But a budgetary deficit of $66.6 million was reported for the agglomeration which includes all the cities and towns on the Island of Montreal.

Officials say that is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But some of the suburban mayors don’t agree.

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“It has absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic because in 2021 we all knew about the pandemic,” Georges Bourelle, the mayor of Beaconsfield, told Global News.

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Bourelle insists the City of Montreal should have factored in the costs of the pandemic in its budget for 2021.

“I’m disappointed because there’s no reason to have a deficit,” he said.

But city officials insist the suburbs knew all along about the financial situation.

“First of all, it’s not a surprise for them because we kept them in the loop as the budget was unfolding all year,” Dominique Ollivier, the city’s executive committee chairperson, said at a press conference.

Suburban cities and towns pay into Montreal for shared public services like mass transit, police and firefighting.

Some of the mayors are hoping a new fiscal arrangement can be reached so the costs to the suburbs will be reduced.

But they doubt an agreement can be reached soon.

“I don’t think that that can happen before the end of the year,” Beny Masella, Montreal West mayor, told Global News.

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The new valuation roles for homes on the island are due out this fall which could also lead to higher fees for the suburbs.

Click to play video: 'How much of Quebec’s budget will cover infrastructure west of Montreal?'
How much of Quebec’s budget will cover infrastructure west of Montreal?

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