Pontiac council budget 2015 - 2.6% tax increase
Mo Laidlaw

At the municipality of Pontiac’s budget meeting on 16 December 2014, the 2015 budget of $7.1 million was passed by a majority of councillors. Councillors Pontiroli and Amyotte voted against the budget, stating that they had little or no input. “We were only invited to two meetings to discuss the budget, by which time it had been decided by the Finance committee,” said Dr Amyotte.

According to Mayor Roger Larose there were 10 meetings to work on the budget. He thanked the Finance committee for their hard work and said in his speech: “This year the municipality is faced with budget cuts that were introduced by the Quebec government, which includes an increase of our share payable to the MRC des Collines. Nevertheless, we were able to limit the increase of operating expenses to 2.6%, in relation to the 2014 budget.”

The general rate is 0.5863 per $100 evaluation for all types of property. Including loans for the whole municipality (that everyone pays), brings the rate to 0.6306.
In addition there are sector taxes: for the sewage lagoon in Quyon, paid by those with sewers, and for paving some roads, paid by residents on those roads.

Service charges, in addition to taxes
The service charge for garbage and recycling pickup and disposal fees, has gone down 0.47%. For a residence the fee is $216.56.
The service charge for water, payable by those with mains water in Quyon, has gone up 3.11%. For a residence the fee is $334.62.
The service charge for sewers, payable by those with sewers in Quyon, has gone up 5.07%. For a residence the fee is $247.41.

Where the money goes
Public safety is a big item, totalling $1,944,903, up 9%. This includes MRC police, fire department, animal control and civil security.
Transport includes road maintenance and snow ploughing and totals $1,942,734, down 3%. (Paved roads require less maintenance than gravel roads.)
Administration is up 4% at $1,096,902.
Public hygiene, which includes Quyon’s water and sewer, as well as garbage and recycling, totals $1,093,542, down 10%.
Planning (urbanism) is up 16%, totalling $465,202.
Leisure and culture (recreation and libraries) is up 27% to $305,390.
Servicing debt (interest etc) is down 10% to $247,009.

Comparisons with other municipalities in MRC des Collines and the city of Gatineau are not simple because they all report different things. In Gatineau, salaries are 47% of the budget, servicing debt is 12% (3.5 % in Pontiac) and public transport is 10%.

L’Ange-Gardien: tax rate 0.646. Increase 1.5%.
Cantley: tax rate 0.7393 for residential property and 1.1599 for non-residential property. No increase.
La Pêche: increase 2%. Total budget $12.5 million.