Following the Government of Quebec’s unprecedented investments in education, Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, introduced Bill 166, An Act to reform the school tax system, today at the National Assembly. It aims to lower school taxes across Quebec and to introduce a regional school taxation system.
Once it is studied and passed, the bill provides for a harmonized regional tax rate, as of the 2018-2019 school year, based on the lowest tax rate in force in 2017-2018 in each taxation region. The bill also provides for a basic $25,000 exemption on the property value of each taxable immovable, including properties located on the Island of Montréal. It could thus put an end to the inequities that exist within each region of Quebec when it comes to school taxes, all while maintaining student services.
Note that all educational services and infrastructure are financed by the government. School taxes allow school boards to cover the expenses related to the head office, the administration of schools and of professional and adult education training centres, equipment operation costs and half the cost of school transport, while maintaining educational services.
Academic success, from early childhood to adulthood, is at the core of our actions. That is why the government has already announced investments of $1.8 billion for direct student services over the next five years. Eventually, more than 7,200 additional resources, including 1,500 as of the current school year, will be hired in Quebec schools. In 2017-2018 alone, more than $1.615 billion will have been invested for the renovation, expansion and construction of schools.
“The current school tax system is almost 25 years old, so it was time for a thorough review. By introducing this bill, we are making a concrete gesture that will allow us to eliminate the discrepancies in taxation that occur too often within the same region, the same municipality, even the same street. In this way, as of July 2018, we will also be reducing the tax burden of Quebec taxpayers, since most of them will see their bill reduced.”
– Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region
This bill proposes:
- The creation of school taxation regions based on administrative regions and a method of calculating the maximum regional school tax rate;
- Rules and procedures for the collection and redistribution of the proceeds of the school tax;
- For the name of the committee that manages school taxes for the Island of Montréal to be “Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire”; for school boards in a same tax region to be able to designate one among them that will be responsible for collecting the school tax for that region or to mandate the school tax management committee to this end;
- That a committee monitoring the collection, recovery and apportionment of the regional school tax be established in each school tax region;
- That a regional balance subsidy be paid to balance the revenues of school boards.