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Le financement des arrondissements de Montréal : constats, principes et options

This report presents a reflection and recommendations on the financing of Ville de Montréal's boroughs. A consultation tour of the 19 boroughs, meetings with key stakeholders from the main central services and a review of several documents provided mainly by the Finance Department made it possible to establish a diagnosis of the situation.

The problem of financing the boroughs stems from the establishment of historical budgets in 2002, which were considered relatively inequitable, and from the inability to migrate since then to budgets based on objective and uniform parameters for all the boroughs. The boroughs' participation in their financing remains relatively low and the austerity climate imposed by the City in recent years has caused a lot of frustration.

Following this site review in Chapters 1 and 2, and using the principles of intergovernmental financial relations to be applied in a decentralized city context, we put forward eight main recommendations aimed at clarification, accountability and stabilization:

That the services delegated to the boroughs by Ville de Montréal be clarified in terms of responsibility and funding;

That participation in interborough services follow more equitable fixed cost sharing rules and that charges better reflect actual costs;

That the responsibility for property management be clarified, fully assumed by the entity responsible for it (no sharing) and that appropriate rents be applied;

That the network components of borough services be better identified and adequately funded. Network components that require a processing change have been identified in the following services:
- Libraries
- Roads and snow removal (portion affecting inter-borough transit streets)
- Residual material collection
- Sports and leisure centres

That the boroughs themselves raise a portion of their core revenues from local property taxes (with equalization payments for the less fortunate);

That the mooring between responsibilities and various sources of revenue, particularly from parking and advertising, be reviewed;

That the envelope for central transfers to the boroughs be indexed to inflation and that it be based entirely on objective parameters (parametric budget) with a transition period;

That the Development Fund, which has become useless through all these proposals, be abolished;

That the distribution formula for the TNP be reviewed. All these proposals are intended to standardize the financial treatment of the boroughs and put an end to the legacy of historical budgets that has persisted since 2002. They are intended to make the City of Montréal's structure more efficient, in a context of reasoned decentralization, taking into account the network effects of services to the boroughs.

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