Quebec bill to establish single school tax rate could mean $700-million tax break for homeowners

The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government tabled one of its signature pieces of legislation Thursday — an act to establish a single school tax rate.

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If Bill 3 is passed, Quebec homeowners will pay the same school taxes regardless of what region they live in.

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During the campaign, the CAQ said it would establish the new rate at 10 cents per $100 on the value of your house, a plan they estimated would cost $700 million a year annually.

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Asked about how the government would make up for this loss during question period last week, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge said it would compensate school boards for the loss of revenue with money from the general fund.

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Opposition parties have voiced concerns about this bill, namely with the government’s ability to balance its budget and provide the same level of services in education with less money.

“We have to ask ourselves at this time, ‘Is this right now the best decision?'” said Parti Québécois(PQ) MNA Véronique Hivon.

She added that if the government has $700 million available to invest in education, why not invest it on top of what is already being collected in school taxes?

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“If you talk to the people at the Commission Scolaire de Montréal, it will have a very, very important impact on a fund that they have that they manage themselves, so there [will be] many impacts,” Hivon said.

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