School tax bills to rise

By Robert Frank
www.thesuburban.com

Homeowners can soon expect to receive their annual school tax bills in the mail.

According to Fernando Barberini, who chairs Montreal’s central school tax management committee (www.CGTSIM.qc.ca), this year’s school tax bills for homeowners who pay their taxes to Montreal school boards will, on average, total 2.5 per cent more than they did last year. Off-island property owners who pay their school tax to the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) are also covered by the CGTSIM ruling.

Barberini disclosed the amount of the increase in response to a question by Chris Eustace during a recent CGTSIM’s meeting, according to minutes of the gathering obtained by The Suburban. Eustace is an official candidate for the top job of chair at LBPSB, during upcoming elections in November.

Barberini declined to respond to Eustace’s question as to the appropriateness of using public money to pay for LBPSB school commissioners to attend a convention outside of Canada, declaring Eustace’s question out of order.

Eustace also asked whether the “About Your Taxes” section on the Quebec Education Ministry’s web site (www.mels.gouv.qc.ca) remains accurate.

Barbieri replied that the part that talks about a reduction to the school rebate subsidy hasn’t applied to Montreal school boards for at least a decade. He added that it remains accurate to say that school taxes represent 20 per cent of school board revenue.

District 4 Commissioner Frank di Bello represented LBPSB at the CGTSIM meeting, in place of current LBPSB chair Suanne Stein Day, who was absent.

As The Suburban went to press earlier than usual this week, due the Saint Jean Baptiste provincial holiday, LBPSB commissioners were expected to approve a motion by di Bello to revise the school board’s tax rate accordingly, during the governing council’s monthly meeting Monday evening, June 23.

Since LBPSB spans an extremely large geographical area both on and off the Island of Montreal, the amount that school tax bills will increase for individual residences will vary widely, according to local property evaluations.

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