Auditor’s report shows Vaudreuil-Dorion in sound fiscal condition
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Marco Pilon, Vaudreuil-Dorion Treasurer and Director of Finance, presents the officially audited 2016 financial report during the June 19 Monday evening council meeting.
Vaudreuil-Dorion is in sound financial shape according to a detailed auditor’s report that outlines the state of the city’s finances that was presented by Marco Pilon, Treasurer and Director of Financial Services, at the Monday evening council meeting on June 19.
The audit, which was commissioned by the independent auditing firm Goudreau Poirier Inc., showed that the city has a current surplus of about $9 million, although Mayor Guy Pilon said the surplus is actually about $6 million.
One of the reasons for the discrepancy is because the town received an unexpected repayment of about $2 million from the CIT La Presqu’île for bus service and about $1 million from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) as part of the provincial gasoline refund program.
CIT transit service refund
The substantial refund from the CIT resulted in the town not having to pay for the transit service, which Pilon said was an extremely exceptional situation. The CIT, which officially ceased to operate June 1 as a unique entity is now a part of the South Shore transit service and the city’s contribution is yet to be determined.
“We don’t know how much the service will cost the municipalities in the future in terms of the new restructuration so that $2 million can disappear very quickly. We can’t do anything with the money because we aren’t certain what will happen with the reorganization,” said Pilon.
Residential and industrial taxes
When it comes to real estate transactions, Pilon said the municipality is one of the few that has the quickest turnovers when properties are listed on the market and more income was generated through Welcome Taxes. “This is a good sign and another good sign is that people still want to move to our community,” he added.
Another boost to the city’s coffers is the $1.2 million in tax revenue that is being generated from Ericsson which was given a tax break by the city when it announced plans to build a new facility in the town’s industrial park about three years ago.
“At the end of the process, we should be receiving $4 million annually in tax revenue from Ericsson,” said Pilon of the telecommunications equipment and services company and added that a similar tax break was awarded last year to Winpak Ltd. when they announced plans to expand their packaging facility.
Major infrastructure work completion
The completion of the city’s major infrastructure projects including its water filtration and sewage treatment facilities, the new St. Charles Avenue/Autoroute 40 overpass, a new bike path along Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes, and the expansion of the arena and library should help to minimize any future tax increases, said Pilon.
“We’ve invested in a lot of areas and our major expenses are now over and our need to borrow will continue to decrease each year starting now. We did it by gradually increasing property taxes but we’re stabilizing now because we have less investments to make,” he said.
Pilon wouldn’t speculate whether the reduced spending will translate into lower property taxes for homeowners. “This will all depend on the demands from our citizens. We’re here to provide services to our citizens. Our city is still growing, much slower than before, but there will always be a demand for more cultural and recreational activities,” he added.