Régis Labeaume energetically opposed Thursday to any form of royalty or additional tax along the route of the future Quebec tramway, as suggested by candidate Bruno Marchand for new real estate developments.
“We can give all kinds of names to that and be very creative, but a tax is a tax,” said the outgoing mayor on the sidelines of a press conference, where he announced jointly with the Maurice Foundation. Tanguay, a grant of $ 50,000 intended for the Maison Dauphine Foundation.
Régis Labeaume defended himself from interfering in the election campaign, simply saying to reiterate a position he has already expressed many times.
He did not nominate any candidate or party, but only the strong and proud leader of Quebec and Jackie Smith of Transition Quebec opened the door to a levy on new large-scale residential and commercial construction around the tramway. This issue has been on fire since the election campaign.
A guaranteed profit
Mr. Labeaume does not believe in the need for such a measure.
“It is certain that along the tram line, things will be built, and when things are built, it brings additional income to the city and your profit, it is there,” he said. he exposes.
These new owners will receive a tax bill and will thus bring a sustainable source of income to the municipality, and this “in the taxation that already exists, without change.”
According to him, more than $ 4 billion of real estate projects are already considered near the future tramway.
“I always said no, no, no to any form of additional tax because our profit is there as soon as it’s built and it’s there for a long time, so for me that was the way to go, then that seems logical to me, ”argued Mr. Labeaume.
“Enough, the taxes”
The mayor said he was proud to have managed to limit the increase in property tax to inflation and is hostile to any new tax. This is why he refused to imitate Montreal with a gas tax that could have brought in millions annually, he argued.
In his opinion, “the taxes are enough. […] It is a question of relationship with the population and then of trust ”.
If the supporters of a royalty speak of an equity measure in order to capture part of the increase in property value which will benefit real estate developers near the tramway, Régis Labeaume responds that “equity, it exists with the inflation taxation ”.
Marchand assumes and adds
Bruno Marchand defended his idea at a press briefing later in the day, replying instead to have “the courage to find solutions that will allow the bill to be distributed differently”.
“No matter what you call it, we take the money out of the pockets of speculators who will make money with the tramway project”, specifies the strong and proud leader of Quebec, indicating that he fully accepts his proposal.
“If it is not the real estate speculators who are paying for this project, it is the citizens,” he added, insisting that someone was going to have to foot the bill. “It is not Mr. Labeaume, once left, who will disburse the costs.”
Mr. Marchand denounced these “amalgamations” of the outgoing mayor who “plays politics” in the countryside to his succession.
“He is playing politics every time he speaks. […] Voters will decide what they want. Do we want a monarchy in Quebec? Do we want to name the estate and have it set up like that from family to family? No. Quebec needs a renewal, ”hammered Bruno Marchand.
– With the collaboration of Pierre-Paul Biron