Mrs Valérie Plante
Mayor of the City of Montreal
The City of Montreal supports culture in different ways: funding from the Conseil des arts de Montréal; financial or service support to events and organizations; dissemination through the network of Cultural Centers; etc.
Despite the value of this support, there are many organizations in the cultural sector that do not have access to its various forms of support. In some cases, city assistance is therefore indirectly granted to them through an exemption from property taxes.
Inis is one of those organizations that has never received direct financial assistance from the City of Montreal. However, for nearly 15 years (from 1996 to 2014), L’inis – as a place promoting film and video creation – did not have to pay property tax relating to its status as tenant of spaces belonging to the Cinémathèque. Quebecois.
This indirect, but significant support (the property tax for Inis amounts to more than $ 110,000 annually) was withdrawn in December 2014 by the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) following a recommendation in this regard. meaning formulated by City officials in a routine hearing.
Since 2014, it is therefore more than $ 500,000 in payment of property taxes that have come to burden the operating budget of Inis.
A situation that could have been corrected while Inis, as the law allows it, asked the CMQ, in December 2019, for a review of its 2014 decision in order to once again benefit from an exemption on the payment of property taxes.
However, officials from the City of Montreal’s finance department, without consulting city council on this issue, opposed this request. This distressing situation and detrimental to the activities of Inis was communicated to you twice in correspondence dated June 30 and September 16, 2020.
Madam Mayor, it is time to see that the recommendations, decisions and policies in terms of support for cultural organizations (including the approval of an exemption request) fall within the remit of elected officials, as provided for in the by-laws of the City of Montreal. , and not officials from the Finance Department.
The CMQ hearing that will deal with our request to find our exemption will take place on Tuesday, October 20. There is still time, Madam Mayoress, to concretely confirm your desire to support the cultural milieu by demanding from the representatives of the City who must participate in the hearing the outright withdrawal of their opposition to our request. Better, that they come to transmit to the CMQ a recommendation of the City to accept the request for exemption of Inis.
After that, it will be up to the CMQ to assess the value of our request.
Inis is probably not the only cultural organism to suffer from such a situation. A clear policy on this matter facilitating the obtaining of an exemption from the payment of property taxes for cultural organizations, whatever the nature of their activity, would be greatly appreciated.
Managing Director, Inis