Supporting Local Governements
The previous QLP’s government’s decision to open new tax fields to municipalities has increased their fiscal autonomy. We do, however, believe that we need to go further. We need to implement mechanisms that ensure that any increased responsibilities stemming from Quebec City are accompanied by the financial or taxation means to face them. Therefore, under a Liberal government there will be an in-depth revision of municipal taxation. This taxation update will be undertaken alongside local stakeholders. It should not, however, lead to additional taxation for citizens.
In spite of the significant work that needs to be done to modernize this framework, we are now committing to including the entire value of public and para-public buildings within municipalities’ tax perimeter. The government of Quebec will pay 100% of its municipal taxes. This measure will allow municipalities to rapidly acquire the additional revenues to which they are entitled.
Our regions also need to be able to take full advantage of the economic activity they generate. Royalty revenues from mining, forestry and water resources raised almost $1.5 billion for the government last year. We will therefore double the level of revenue sharing from natural resource royalties with the regions and municipalities directly impacted by their development.
We also need to support the development of local initiatives. We will dedicate $500M to that effect each year. The Strategy to Ensure the Occupancy and Vitality of Territories includes three funds to support regional economic development, namely the Fonds Régions et Ruralité (FRR), which seeks to support municipal entities in the execution of their competencies, the Fonds de la Région de Capitale-Nationale and the Fonds de Développement Économique de Montréal. These are the funds that will be enhanced so that we are able to achieve our goal, particularly the budget dedicated to increasing the regions’ influence. We will also increase the budget for local roads by $50M so that we are able to fund a greater number of community-based initiatives.
The issue of funding for local infrastructure, such as sports facilities or sewage systems, must also be addressed in the context of rising inflation that puts additional financial pressure on municipalities. Therefore, the Quebec Liberal Party is committed to working with local authorities to revise the funding for the infrastructure projects so that all of the announced projects actually come to fruition.