Montréal, November 21, 2017 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is pleased with the government plan to normalize regional school taxation rates. The plan will provide a long-awaited reprieve to our minority community, maintain financing levels to school boards, and respects the role of school board Councils to manage and control taxation.
An issue of paramount concern to QESBA and member boards for years, the inequitable school tax dossier has been a source great difficulty for the English-language education sector, for our parents, and for our communities. Until now school boards have been given limited powers to collect taxes from property owners to supplement government allocations. With eroding tax bases, and the abolition of equalization grants by the previous government, the inequity between tax revenues meant in large part it cost more for an English education, thereby penalizing our community.
“Our network is extremely pleased that a viable solution to all, English and French school boards across the province, has been deposited. The proposal calls for regional taxation, which is exactly what QESBA has been advocating. The Minister of Education, Sébastien Proulx, and the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, listened to our community and our concerns and have responded appropriately,” said QESBA President Jennifer Maccarone.
The proposal calls for the lowest tax rate in any administrative region to be adopted across the school board network in that territory. “The fact that the responsibility for local taxation will reside with school boards and Councils, is testament to the fact that this government is taking steps to support local democracy, and our community. Management and control of our institutions is a right we hold dear, and this positive change to our tax model will allow us to continue to respect the rights of our community,” concluded President, Jennifer Maccarone.
QESBA looks forward to the deposit of the draft legislation to examine the details more closely.
There are no changes for the five Montréal island Boards in the collection of their school taxes. The comité de gestion des taxes scolaires will continue to collect the school taxes for the EMSB, LBPSB, CSDM, CSMB and CSPI.
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in 340 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.