Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean: an increase in the tax bill that does not pass in Sainte-Rose-du-Nord

Citizens of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, had a very bad surprise when they received their tax bill, because the bill doubled for some.

“We’re talking about people whose tax bill has gone from $1,500 to $3,000, that’s money,” said Jonathan Boivin, spokesperson for the residents of Anse d’en Haut, in Sainte- North Rose.

However, their chalet is without service. Residents must take a side-by-side or a snowmobile to get to their residence because the streets are not cleared of snow. They also have no water, sewer, or garbage service. “It’s a lot to pay for what we have as services,” said Mr. Boivin.

This increase is explained by the municipal assessment, which jumped for several owners. For example, the residence of one of them was valued at $132,000. In 2023, the same residence, without renovation, is valued at $211,000. “I increased by $40,000 for no reason, if only for the change of one step,” illustrated Jonathan Boivin.

Residents of the Anse d’en Haut area showed up at city council on Monday essentially asking for a drop in the rate or their municipal assessment. The answer does not satisfy them. “Very disappointed with the turn of events, being told, ‘listen it’s your choice to have a cottage resort. No, I won’t change the tax rate and that’s how it is and it won’t change,” protested the spokesperson.

The mayor of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord has clarified his position. “Imagine if I started lowering tax rates for citizens…I don’t have that attitude to do it and even if I did, on what basis can I say you can pay less tax than sir?” said the mayor of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, Claude Riverin.

“I was told challenge your municipal assessment, it’s a lot of money, you have to do it before April and it’s not scratching. Bringing in an appraiser is $1,000. To save $1,000 in taxes, it’s $1,000 the same in fees,” said Richard Perreault, resident of Anse d’en Haut.

“Am I aware for some that this is a big tax increase? Yes I am aware. If I lower the tax rate, and I make losses, will I put the municipality under guardianship? No, that’s for sure not,” continued the mayor.

These residents also complain that the parking lot reserved for their vehicle and their snowmobile is always full of tourists or fishermen. “We are supposed to have a designated place, but it is not done. We have another parking lot at the ice rink, but with ice fishing, it’s always full. There really is no place for us,” said Jonathan Boivin.

The garbage bins that are available to them in the village are also always full.

“Paying for things that you don’t have access to is hard… Everything is increasing this year, it’s pretty hard morally,” admitted Mr. Boivin.

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