Sherbrooke citizens will have to absorb an average increase in their tax bill of 3.13%, and pool owners will receive an $80 bill annually starting next summer, according to the 2024 budget approved by the municipal council Tuesday evening.
When she took office in the fall of 2021, Mayor Evelyn Boudin and her Sherbrooke Citizen party promised to keep the state’s tax increase the same every year, 3%.
After respecting its commitment during the 2022 and 2023 budgets, the inflationary context forced the political party to deviate slightly from its commitment to achieving a balanced budget while maintaining services for citizens.
“We must not be rigid, ideological and dogmatic. He is capable of adapting to the situation and its economic context and this is the city of this year with our largest budget, a way to expand the council of the Hôtel-Dieu district.” And Sherbrooke name here, Laure Letarte – path. Yes, the number may have been said as 3%, but for me what is always important is predictability.
Sherbrooke council president and independent councilor, Danielle Berthold, believes it is the right thing to do.
“When the Sherbrooke Citizen committed to respecting the 3% rate for four years, I think everyone was sincere. Now, facing today’s reality with inflation, I think it is a good, open-minded move on the part of the Sherbrooke Citizen to agree to increase the interest rate to 3.13%,” she stressed. The majority of council members would approve of this increase.
For comparison, Montreal adopted an average tax increase of 4.9% for 2024, Longueuil 5.8%, and Quebec 3.9%.
New tax on swimming pools
If taxpayers in Sherbrooke benefit from a relatively low tax increase compared to other large Quebec cities, they will have to bear certain additional costs.
For example, a new tax of $80 would be imposed on every pool owner, regardless of size. The bill will be sent out later in 2024 while the city takes an inventory of all the private pools on its property.
Landowners in industrial zones will be charged a tax of $113 for every square meter covered in asphalt, gravel or concrete on their property.
Some council members voted against the budget, citing in particular poor control over spending.
“Sherbrooke residents are not being fooled. Even if the property tax increase stays at about 3%, for some the increase will be about 6% with the pool tax,” explained Annie Godbout, independent councilor for the Rock Forest area.
The independent councilor for the Ben Solitaire region, Hélène Dauphines, also took the average increase of 3.13% into account. “There are other cities that have exceeded 4% or 5% increases, but may not have added new taxes.”
Parking fees in Sherbrooke will rise from $1.50 to $2 per hour, and free parking offered during the holiday season downtown will be eliminated, as will a municipal program to support electric charging stations.
Improving the electricity network
As Hydro-Québec recently announced, the City of Sherbrooke is planning significant investments to improve Hydro-Sherbrooke’s electrical grid.
Over the next five years, more than $37 million will be pumped. The budget allocated for pruning is also increased to $400,000 annually.
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