Watch Terry Kilakos’s conversation with Mayor Alan DeSousa here. They talk about infrastructure, the future of the City of Montréal, some of the former accountant’s philosophy for budgeting and some tips from Terry. You can also listen to the episode on Soundcloud.
As the New Year begins, we wanted to look back at our favourite episode of CJAD 800 ’s The Real Estate Show for 2018.
It happened early in the year but for us the best hour of radio was the sit-down interview with Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa, who came to the studio to talk about the new city budget and take some of your questions.
DeSousa was first elected to council in 1990, is a former vice-president at BioChem Pharma and was named a fellow with the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants.
It was a year that featured a remarkable budget, as for the first time in years, property taxes increased by more than inflation.
“Well, let’s just say this one took everyone by surprise,” said DeSousa, who is affiliated with the opposition Ensemble Montreal party. “Everyone was expecting the rates of increase on taxes overall to be on the inflation rate.”
It’s not something that should be taken lightly, he said, even if it may not have some of the flash of federal or provincial budgets.
“I don’t think you can minimize city taxes because some people are often leveraged to the hilt; the main asset that they own is often their home. They’re struggling to earn a living, and the extra money they’re earning is slowly being eaten away by increasing interest rates, the cost of living and now municipal taxes,” the borough mayor said. “So it does fall hard on some people, particularly people who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.”
As North East Mortgages president Terry Kilakos said on the show, the bump in the tax rate is just one facet of the increase.
“You’ve got to keep in mind also, when you look at this, what we’re talking about is the ‘mill rate’ that’s actually being increased. Besides that, you’re actually going to have the value of the properties going up, and the minute that happens, now all of a sudden taxes are going to go up that much more.”
Kilakos said the increase in tax rates has more than just an effect on the bottom line of the tax bill when it drops in your mailbox.
“When you have these rates jumping up right now, so the average home I think is…looking at about $100 to $120, on average, that taxes are going to be going up, Kilakos said. “That, combined with higher stress tests, is going to end up affecting a lot of people and people’s borrowing power in Montreal will be going down.”