December 4, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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A new tax is planned for motorists in the Quebec region

A new tax is planned for motorists in the Quebec region

Quebec, Lévis, and CMQ’s other municipalities are seriously considering imitating Montreal and, by 2024, imposing a new tax on vehicle registration to finance public and active transportation. News magazine.

• Also Read: Laurentian and Capital highways were congested before the pandemic

In search of new revenue sources, Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand has already floated the idea of ​​a local registration tax, among others, in June 2022.

In an interview, the vice-president of the executive committee of the city of Quebec, Pierre-Luc Lachance, confirms that the project is indeed “under study” and that the opening ceremony at the Société de l’Automobile Insurance is “very near”. The law already allows this type of imposition at the request of Quebec municipalities.

The elected official also mentioned the possible implementation of this tax “before 2025”. It is the commune metropolitan de Quebec (which includes the RCMs of Quebec, Lévis, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmours, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Île-d’Orléans, CôBooséde – -Cartier).

Municipalities like Quebec and Lévis, which derive most of their revenue from property taxes, are actively looking for new ways to fund public (photo) and active transportation in their territory.

Photo by Stevens LeBlanc

Municipalities like Quebec and Lévis, which derive most of their revenue from property taxes, are actively looking for new ways to fund public (photo) and active transportation in their territory.

Mr. Lachance.

Not to pay for the tram

“I want to be very clear: this is not a tax linked to construction transport,” he stressed, adding that we are still awaiting an update on the costs of the tram project, currently estimated at 4 B$. Thanks to the sums raised, new facilities for walking and cycling have also been built throughout the CMQ territory.

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“For 70 years, we have developed around the car. We want to break this pattern and we think bold gestures are needed to get there. Other cities [derrière] We are We cannot develop cities in the 60s, 70s or 80s,” explained Mr Lachance.

In most major urban areas, including Quebec City, the SAAQ already collects a $30 annual contribution to fund public transit. But in Montreal, owners of vehicles registered on the island pay an additional tax of $45 for a total of $75. The tax will be extended to suburban towns in 2024.

No amount has been established

Quebec’s elected officials say they want to “take inspiration” from the Montreal metropolitan community, but at this stage have not yet dared to calculate a future local tax. More than 400,000 passenger vehicles are registered in the Capitale-National area, not counting Levi’s, which represents more than $20 million in potential revenue annually.

“We are very concerned not to tax people too much. We do not see the citizen as a cash cow, assured Mr Lachance. We are looking for the best way to reach the goals set and ensure sustainable mobility development in Quebec.

Local elected officials want to avoid service cuts and deficits for their transit agencies, as in Montreal this year.

Sources of income in RTC

  • In 2023, RTC’s balanced budget projects total revenues $256.2 million.

Where does the money come from?

  • 55.5%: 3 cities in the Quebec agglomeration
  • 29%: Own source revenue (consumers and others)
  • 10.6%: Government of Quebec
  • 4.9%: Emergency aid from the Quebec government for the pandemic
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Excerpt from Budget

[L’année] 2023 marks the end of the emergency aid program. The expected financial situation in the short term is unsustainable in the long term and the RTC will be forced to make choices if additional funding is not forthcoming.

A gas tax is no longer the solution

CMQ’s elected representatives will study several other options for financing sustainable mobility in the long term, including a kilometer tax, but they will immediately rule out any new tax on gasoline.

“Everything is on the table except the fuel tax,” Pierre-Luc Lachance, an elected official for Quebec City, who is also in the Quebec metropolitan community, confirmed in an interview. No doubt this time it will emulate Montreal, which imposes an additional tax of 3 cents per liter at the pump.

“With the exception of the gas tax, which will decrease rapidly from 2035 when the sale of new gasoline vehicles will no longer be allowed, we want to explore all the financial levers that make it possible to improve sustainable mobility in the region,” he explained, seeking to nip rumors of this effect in the bud.

Like his predecessor Regis Labeaume, the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, has never been in favor of a gas tax. And he repeated it again last week.

Mileage rate

On the other hand, mileage pricing (charging motorists for the number of kilometers travelled) is starting to gain traction.

Pierre-Luc Lachance did not hide it. He hopes to draw inspiration from a feasibility study underway in Montreal that is due to be completed in August 2023.

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Various technologies such as transponders or a network of cameras can measure mileage. The Municipal Councilor will also mention the applications on mobile phone or in “Self-Advertisement”.

“We’ll look outside to see what happens to see how we can implement it.”

Surface parking lots

Among other avenues explored, he puts forward many ideas without ever committing himself. But he repeats that nothing has been ruled out. For example, he mentioned tax increases for surface parking lots or even gas stations.

“We want to take time to reflect with the Quebec government and ensure better sustainable funding, specifically for public transportation.”

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