Rousselle rues big school tax hike

By Robert Frank

Vimont MNA Jean Rousselle took the Parti québécois government to task last week for the sharp spike in school tax bills that off-island taxpayers received this summer.

“For a year now, we’ve witnessed a lack of economic vision on the part of the péquiste government,” he said in the National Assembly, Sept. 25. “The government’s irresponsible handling of the school tax issue also shows is its lack of sensitivity and solidarity with citizens.”

“Quebecers who pay rent will have to absorb a $288 million tax burden that has been downloaded by the PQ to [the province’s] school boards,” he complained. “Thousands of Quebec families will face rent increases. Those increases will be caused by the government’s inability to generate wealth.”

“What steps do you plan to take to soften the blow of school tax increases for Quebec families?” he asked Education Minister Marie Malavoy.

“We’ve asked school boards to find ways to reduce their costs, increase their revenue, consolidate services and use up their surpluses,” Malavoy replied. “You never, at any time, heard me say such a thing. It was always at the bottom of the list, so far down the list right now that we have—together with the school boards—initiated a process to set right previous excesses.”

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