Quebec fiscal update – Lower income taxes, school tax equity and new tax credit for school kids

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Allyson Beauregard

QUEBEC – The Quebec

Allyson Beauregard

QUEBEC – The Quebec
government unveiled their fiscal update, November 21. The overall income tax rate was reduced from 16% to 15% for the first $42,000 of income earned, creating a savings of approximately $278 per year. A $100 tax credit for school age children between 4 and 16 years old was also created in order to help offset the cost of school supplies. This will be applied retroactively to 2017.
In addition, high speed internet funding through the High Speed Internet Access program will provide $360 million to allow additional communities to benefit from round two of the program. The communities benefiting from the infrastructure
funding will be announced in the coming weeks.
School tax equality
In order to eliminate the disadvantages some school boards have faced when their school tax rates were higher than other local boards, school tax rates in each region across the province have been reduced to the lowest rate paid. In the Outaouais, where rates are already one of the lowest in the province, the rate was reduced to that of the Western Quebec School Board at 13 cents per $100 of evaluation.
This is welcome news for La Commission scolaire des Hauts-Bois de l’Outaouais, whose rate was almost three times higher at 33 cents per $100, which they claimed resulted in lower school enrolment and many people without children moving their tax accounts to the WQSB. The government will compensate boards for
revenue lost because of reduced rates. Other regions of Quebec experienced the opposite where the tax rate of the anglophone boards was reduced to match that of the francophone boards.
In addition, an exemption of no taxes on a certain amount (to be announced) of evaluation was also added. “Both measures will ensure every homeowner benefits from a tax reduction,” concluded André Fortin, MNA.
The update and its fiscal benefits come a little less than a year before the
next provincial election, tentatively set for October 2018.