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Projected $30 million shortfall in 2024 for RTC: Quebec City requests registration tax

Projected $30 million shortfall in 2024 for RTC: Quebec City requests registration tax

The RTC expects a deficit of $30 million for 2024. Quebec City has already asked the Quebec government to add a registration tax to fund the transit company’s transportation activities.

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The idea of ​​a local tax was proposed by the city’s mayor, Bruno Marchand, and the vice-president of the Quebec City Executive Committee, Pierre-Luc Lachance, last year. The latter confirmed that the project is “under study” in January 2023.

On the sidelines of the Sustainable Mobility Policy Forum on Friday, RTC President Maud Mercier Laroche confirmed that a request had been submitted to the government.

“In Quebec, there are tax powers that need to be sought to generate additional revenue, and I’m thinking in particular of the tax on registration. These are requests that have been made and we hope things will move forward.”

On Thursday, Quebec Mayor Marchand actually called on the Quebec government to be “ambitious” and “overinvest” in public transportation. Referring to the expected deficit in the regional training center, he added, “For the period 2024-2025, these are critical situations.” If we didn’t have better financing, we wouldn’t be able to maintain the same quality of service, the same service offering.

In solution mode

While the Quebec government must absorb 20% of the $2.5 billion deficit for Quebec transit companies by 2028, it will have to get creative to find the money to operate them, according to the Association of Urban Transport of Quebec (ATUQ).

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“Solutions must come from all parties, the Quebec government, transportation companies and even the Federation of Quebec Municipalities. [Il faut] “Reducing the contribution of municipalities and ensuring continuous funding so that the same meeting is not held every year,” explains its general director Marc Denault.

Otherwise, he warns, service cuts are expected at the RTC as elsewhere. According to him, “the impact of a budget cut of this size is not marginal” and is difficult to overcome without affecting users.

drifting away

Faced with the reluctance of the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility (MTMD) to provide further support to them, transport companies and the Qatar Telecommunications Association are turning to the economy, innovation, energy and “environment” companies.

The Environment Minister and Mr. Fitzgibbon may have solutions in their portfolio as well. “We are talking about new sources of revenue, so we have to be creative,” continues Mr. Denault.

Annoying question

During her speech at the opening of the Sustainable Mobility Policy Forum, Minister Genevieve Guilbault described public transport financing as a “disturbing question”.

“Currently, we are financing our public transportation projects and road projects with the same fund […] Supported by registrations, driver’s licenses and fuel taxes. “There is a mathematical issue that arises.”

MI Guilbeault also noted that his department’s limited resources to fund transportation companies come in part from the fact that the federal government has “decoupled from funding roadworks, putting enormous pressure on the finances of provincial governments.”

While in Quebec on Friday, his federal counterpart, Pablo Rodriguez, said he was “hearing” the request from the transportation minister. But he stresses that “there is no program” in this sense and that this matter should not change.

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– In cooperation with Tayeb Mualla

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