TAXATION AND TERRITORY
The Comité de gestion de la taxe scolaire de l'île de Montréal imposes and collects the school tax on behalf of the five school boards on the Island of Montreal:
- Commission scolaire de Montréal
- Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys
- Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'île
- English Montreal School Board
- Lester B. Pearson School Board
The Comité de gestion imposes the school tax on all taxable properties within its territory. This power is conferred upon it by article 434.1 of the Education Act. The Comité collects the tax it imposes in accordance with the provisions of article 436 of that same legislation.
This power to collect taxes for all five school boards on the Island of Montreal is unique to the Comité de gestion. Elsewhere in Quebec, each school board is obliged to collect the school tax from the tax payers within its territory.
The territory of the Comité de gestion is the territory served by the three French-speaking and the two English-speaking school boards on the Island of Montreal. This territory is composed of the city of Montreal, of the 15 municipalities on the Island of Montreal and the 23 municipalities located west of the island of Montreal in the Harwood territory. Within the territory of the Island of Montreal, French-speaking and English-speaking property owners and companies are taxed by the Comité de gestion; in the Harwood territory, only property-owners considered to be English-speaking or “neutral” receive a school tax bill from the Comité de gestion. The French-speaking school board in this territory, the Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs, imposes its own school tax on French-speaking property owners.
DISTRIBUTING THE SCHOOL TAX COLLECTED
On January 3 each year, the Comité de gestion allocates to each of the five school boards their share of the school tax. The total amount billed is distributed among the school boards, whether it has been collected or not.
Additional revenues from the imposing and collecting of the school tax and the supplementary bills serve to upgrade education in underprivileged areas of the five school boards on the Island of Montreal.
FINANCING THE SCHOOL BOARDS
The school tax pay for about 20% of the expenses of school boards on the Island of Montreal. The budget of the five school boards is $2 billion.
The school tax is used for the following:
- maintenance of buildings and equipment;
- energy consumption;
- management costs for schools and centres;
- part of the cost of school transportation.