Coronavirus: Montreal unveils plan to cope with potential $500M shortfall

The City of Montreal presented its budgetary recovery plan on Thursday amid a global economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says while the city is in good financial shape to weather the crisis, with a $251-million surplus from last year, the crisis will bring significant shortfalls.

“It is clear that our government’s finances will be affected by the global economic downturn due to the pandemic,” Plante said.

Executive committee president Benoit Dorais said the city’s revenues will take a big hit by safety measures and closures, amounting to as much as $538 million.

READ MORE: City of Montreal says its finances sound enough to face coronavirus crisis

He said an expected slow-down in real estate transactions could lead to a revenue shortfall of between $104.8 million and $294.1 million.

That’s because a downturn in transactions would reduce transfer tax revenues, as well as various sources of revenues related to permits, parking fees and others, according to Dorais.

Plante said because of their reliance on property taxation, municipalities don’t have as much leeway as other levels of government when it comes to revenues.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Plante and Dorais expressed hope both Ottawa and Quebec would help shoulder the burden to minimize the impact on citizens.

Source: Read Full Article