What does Montreal's tax hike mean for you? We did the math

Montreal homeowners were braced for an increase in their property taxes when their bills arrived in the mail. But what does a 3.3 per cent increase look like, in dollar terms? It depends where you live.

Looking for a home where property taxes haven't soared? Try Saint-Léonard, avoid the Plateau

What does a 3.3 per cent property tax increase look like, in dollar terms? It depends where you live. CBC checked out six homes in six different boroughs. (Nobuhiro Asada/Shutterstock)

Montreal homeowners were braced for an increase in their property taxes when their bills arrived in the mail recently. 

After campaigning on a promise of no tax increases beyond the rate of inflation, Mayor Valérie Plante's administration bumped up municipal taxes by an average of 3.3 per cent. Most of that was due to an increase in the water tax — new money set aside to pay for the city's crumbling sewers and water mains.

But 3.3 per cent doesn't translate into a straight 3.3 per cent increase over last year's bill.

The calculations are complicated, because property taxes in Montreal are a complicated matter. 

You have to consider the assessed value of each individual residential property.

Separate taxes for water and roads are added onto tax bills.

Each borough levies its own taxes for services and capital expenditures. Some boroughs charge water and trash collection taxes per dwelling unit.

With so many factors at play, it's hard to generalize and say, "Here is the average tax increase across the city."  So CBC looked at a sample of homes — six properties across the city. We looked at eight years of tax bills to show how a percentage increase translates in dollars.

Tax bills are public information and can be consulted online or through the city's assessment roll.

To protect the privacy of the homeowners, we don't identify the address, only the general area.

A two-storey semi-detached house in Ahuntsic-Cartierville

This home's assessed value rose from $417,300 in 2011 to $642,300 in 2018 — a 54 per cent increase. Its total taxes rose by 25 per cent in the same period. 

Ahuntsic-Cartierville sent out one of the simpler tax bills in the city, with only five items: general tax, water and road tax, and two borough taxes for services and capital investments.

A one-storey detached house in Pierrefonds-Roxboro

This small house saw its value increase by 40 per cent in seven years, but taxes only rose by 13 per cent.

Pierrefonds-Roxboro has one of the highest tax increases in Montreal this year, at 3.1 per cent. However, the total tax bill of this home only rose by 2.1 per cent, from $2,360 to $2,410.

A three-storey duplex in the Plateau Mont-Royal

The taxable value of this two-unit building has more than doubled since 2011, from about $370,000 to $795,000. The taxes went up, too, rising almost 80 per cent over that period.

Since last year, the total tax bill increased by 3.9 per cent — a $254 difference. Taxes in the Plateau overall increased by 3.2 per cent.

A one-storey detached house in Saint-Léonard

Saint-Léonard has a stable housing market, which is reflected in the property tax bills the borough sends out. This home gained 34.4 per cent in value since 2011, but taxes only rose 14.4 per cent in that period.

The borough charges three borough taxes, instead of two. It also had one of the lowest tax increases over last year — a manageable 1.4 per cent. That's a $98 bump for this owner.

A three-storey triplex in Verdun

Reflecting the growth of Verdun, this building had the second-highest gain in value of the six homes sampled here: its value rose by 60 per cent since 2011, with taxes going up 25 per cent.

Taxes for Verdun rose by 2.4 per cent this year. For this property, last year's tax bill was $4,533, compared to $4,717 this year.

Verdun has one of the most complicated tax bills in the city, with a special tax for municipal works — one for Nuns' Island and another for mainland Verdun. It also charges flat user fees for water and waste per dwelling unit.


A condo in Ville-Marie

This modest condo in the gentrifying neighbourhood straddling Ville-Marie and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve got a tiny, $6 bump in taxes over 2017, even though its property value decreased by $3,000.