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Gatineau dips into debt to shrink property tax hike



Budget passed Tuesday includes 2.1 per cent raise in property tax

Residents in Gatineau can expect their lowest property tax increase in six years in the 2019 budget passed on Tuesday.

The budget includes a 2.1 per cent increase to property taxes to help cover millions of dollars in new spending.

Last year's increase was 2.9 per cent.

For the average homeowner, that will mean an additional $56 per year on a home valued at $238,200.

Deeper into debt 

Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said the city has been prudent in recent years and can deliver a lower increase this year without having an impact on services by dipping into debt.

"We have lots of margin to manoeuvre in Gatineau because our debt is not so high," he said.

Pedneaud-Jobin said the city is still addressing important needs for residents, but is easing back on the property tax increase.

"We're investing a lot in public transit, in cycling and also we are trying to address climate change by protecting our infrastructure against flooding," he said.  

The city's overall budget next year will be $623.3 million, up 3.9 per cent compared to 2018.

In addition to using debt, the city is raising property taxes on vacant land, which is expected to generate an additional $3.5 million for municipal coffers.

CBC