Report on the financial situation: protecting the excellent financial health of Rosemère
Protecting Rosemère's excellent financial Health despite a highly restrictive context.
While the Town of Rosemère’s financial health remains
excellent, Mayor Madeleine Leduc nonetheless warned that, given the Québec
government’s significant successive cuts to transfer payments, the municipal
council will have to make "important, wrenching decisions” over the coming days
The net debt assumed by all
Rosemère taxpayers stood at $20,604,146 on December 31st last, i.e.
an average debt of $0.86 per $100 real estate evaluation. This represents a
significant drop over 2012 when it stood at $0.98 per $100 evaluation. Our
debt, therefore, continues to decrease. "We can safely state that our financial
situation is enviable when compared to the average debt of other towns in the Thérèse-De
Blainville RCM, which was $2.82 per $100 evaluation on December 31, 2013,”
noted Mayor Leduc.
Key 2014 achievements
Among projects carried out over the course of the current fiscal year, the Mayor mentioned:
- the reduction in the residential real estate tax rate, which allowed taxpayers to enjoy, once again, the lowest tax bill in the Thérèse-De Blainville RCM
- strict adherence to the five-year financial plan
- the introduction of movies for our youngsters
- the acquisition of a public piano at the library
- the plan to collect surplus fruits and vegetables from Rosemère residents’ gardens for donation to the Moisson Laurentides food bank
- the adoption of a program promoting family initiatives in the areas of the environment and culture
- the rehabilitation of Montée Lesage
- the development of master plans for storm sewers, the waterworks system, domestic sewers and road surfaces as well as the redevelopment of Charbonneau Park.
The mayor described a difficult financial climate marked by huge challenges. In this area, she noted:
- a major increase of close to 16% in the Town’s contributions for various services, expenses over which the Town has little or no control
- increased investments in our infrastructures required by the provincial government’s more demanding criteria
- the coming into force, on January 1st next, of a new three-year real estate evaluation roll, calling for an average 13.6% increase in values.
Added to these are some $300 million in cuts to various transfers to municipalities, within the framework of the transitional tax agreement secretly concluded with the UMQ. "You can understand our ire when we learned, just weeks prior to the adoption of our budgetary guidelines, that the Town of Rosemère’s expenses would have to be substantially increased. This situation is such, in fact, that we can seriously question the nature of negotiations between the UMQ and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy,” deplored Mrs. Leduc.
She further recalled that accumulated surpluses represent, for Québec and Rosemère, barely 7% of the annual budget. "We have always financed most of our investments thanks to the annual surpluses resulting from our strict management. We can now see that the cuts announced by the government since last year will be putting an end to these rich surpluses.”
The past few months have not been easy for the Rosemère administration in terms of trust given the Town of Lorraine’s decision to join forces with the Town of Bois-des-Filion in the area of fire safety. "This despite the fact that we had concluded an agreement in principle, confirmed by a handshake. This decision will also have a financial impact on the next budget.”
Maintaining the lowest tax rate
Unlike some neighbouring municipalities, the Town of Rosemère cannot rely on development to generate new income. "Because of the government’s shameful lack of responsibility, our Town no longer has the manoeuvring room needed since, for several years now, we have ensured strict management of our finances. In spite of these difficulties, I am confident that, once our work is completed, Rosemère will once again have the lowest tax rate in the region and the third lowest in Québec,” concluded Mayor Madeleine Leduc.
Click here for the November 2014 Report on the Financial situation