Montreal residential property owners will see an average 1.8 per cent increase in their property taxes this year. 

The City of Montreal revealed its latest budget this morning and, for the first time since the central city was created, spending is down. 

Mayor Denis Coderre says he's keeping his promise of not raising taxes above the rate of inflation. 

For non-residential properties the average increase is two per cent. 

"Our objective is the same as it was a year ago," said Mayor Denis Coderre.

"Clean up public finances, rebuild the city by focusing on consistency and efficiency, and most of all, provide quality services to our residents while respecting their ability to pay."

Plateau hardest hit by tax increases

Some property owners will see higher rate increases once you factor in additional taxes charged by boroughs.

Hardest hit will be the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, which will see an average increase of 4.5 per cent for residential properties.

In the Southwest borough, it's 4 per cent.

Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, LaSalle, Outremont, Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, Saint-Laurent and Villeray-St-Michel-Parc-Extension will all see average increases of two to three per cent.

L'île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève, Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles and Saint-Leonard will see average increases of less than one per cent.

Spending down

The 2015 budget comes in at $4.88 billion, down 0.3 per cent from last year. Budget documents refer to the effort to cut spending as "superhuman".

Most of the spending cuts will come from trimming the municipal workforce.

The city says it will abolish one of every two positions that becomes vacant over the next five years.

The city also says it hopes to save money with the eventual passing of the provincial pension reform bill for municipal workers, which will increase pension contributions for those workers.

The city estimates pension reform will save $49 million in 2015.

A noisy protest by municipal workers took place outside the city finance building where the budget was presented.

Spending up for STM, snow removal

The city will be increasing spending in some areas.

Transit spending is increasing, with $25 million more for the STM. That's a six per cent increase bringing the city's total contribution to $409 million.

"The municipal government has shown real commitment to making 2015 the year of public transit," said the president of the STM board, Philippe Schnobb. "We saw it first this week with support for Bixi, and now the STM."

The snow removal budget is up $4.5 million from 2014 to $155 million.

The fire department will see its budget increase $4.3 million to $360.5 million.

The city will also invest $73 million in improvements to Espace Pour La Vie, which includes the Biodome, Botanical Garden, Insectarium and the new Planetarium.

Transit increase "a smokescreen," says Projet Montréal

Montreal's opposition party says Coderre is bundling two allotments to the STM together, making it look like bigger increase.

Luc Ferrandez, leader of Projet Montréal, said tax increases are modest.

"On this aspect, the budget is not that bad," said Ferrandez.

However, he said more power should be given to the boroughs when it comes to frontline services. He also said it is "irresponsible" for the city to "target" the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough with tax hikes.

Tax increase breakdown by borough

  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville: +1.9 %
  • Anjou: +1.3%
  • Côtes-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce: +2.7%
  • Lachine: +1.9%
  • LaSalle : +2.9%
  • L'île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève: +0.9%
  • Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve: +1.6%
  • Montréal-Nord: +0.5%
  • Outremont: +2.8%
  • Pierrefonds-Roxboro: +1.1%
  • Plateau-Mont-Royal: +4.5%
  • Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles: +0.6%
  • Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie:  +3.0%
  • Saint-Laurent: +2.9%
  • Saint-Léonard: +0.9%
  • Sud-Ouest: +4.0%
  • Verdun: +1.8%
  • Ville-Marie: +1.9%
  • Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension: +2.4%

2015 budget at a glance