Seeking Shangri la
I've lived in Montreal most of my life, but have made up my mind to move by the end of this year.
Part 1: Why?
1 Predatory taxes. Half my income goes directly to taxes and then there are more on property, gas, alcohol etc., with GST/PST of 15% on the pennies which remain. It doesn't take much (60k) to fall in the top 10% of those reporting income in Quebec. If you do, you pay 50% of the taxes. It's like walking with 4 people on your back.
2 Awful services. I can't believe that after paying the highest taxes in North America, people sleep for days in corridors of emergency rooms because budgetary constraints preclude a room being available. Potholes are roughly patched (if at all). I have been told to wait for months for medical treatment and tests or pay for them privately. A residency application for my girlfriend took more than two years to process and I have had to pay more than 10k out of my pocket for her operations.
3 70% of Quebecers pay virtually nothing in income taxes which explains why there is an uproar when even a minimal tax decrease is proposed.
4 It is only going to get worse. With a low birthrate and not as many immigrants coming here as, for example, Ontario, the population is aging (=> more need for medical care, even a lower proportion paying taxes). Infrastructure (roads, city plumbing) has decayed beyond the point that the funds available will ever be able to restore them. We have a far higher proportion of bureaucrats per person than in other Canadian provinces or American states. Nobody seems to have any rationale for the existence of the Revenu Quebec. Because of them, unlike the rest of Canada, anyone who files a tax return has to spend time/money doing it twice. Hundreds of millions is being spent on bureaucrats for these and other duplicated services and nationalism will prevent that from ever changing.
4 Is it my imagination or pessimism or are speeding and parking tickets and fines for late filing of government documents etc. increasing in frequency of enforcement and severity?
5 I'm tired of debates about increasing enforcement of Bill 101, forced mergers of municipalities, independance etc.
6 Anti-democracy: Votes of those living in outlying areas have twice the weight of Montrealers. As anglos are concentrated in Western Montreal and vote Liberal en masse, there is no political impetus to address their concerns.
7 It's nobody's fault, but I find winters increasingly unpleasant as I age.
Last edited by anon_vlad; 05-18-2008 at 01:27 PM.
Part 2: Where to move?
The reason I started this thread was not just to bitch, but to ask for your guidance in determining where to move.
I want to live somewhere warm, near an ocean, with decent internet access and which is affordable to one with an upper middle class income. It would be easier if the local language was English or French.
I've thought of the West Indies, Panama, Mauritus and Costa Rica, but don't know much about any of them. I would in particular appreciate the input of those who have lived in places which satisfy my requirements.
Last edited by anon_vlad; 05-18-2008 at 01:19 PM.
I am not an employee. It is very rare that a face to face meeting with my clients is necessary and most of them are outside Quebec anyway.
Originally Posted by Daringly
What you wrote so reflects my thoughts on living in Quebec. Almost every trip to Mtl, i get asked the question why don't i move to Mtl if i enjoy it so much? Well, the easiest answer that comes to mind is that i have 10 years left to go until retirement & a move to the province of Quebec would mean that i'd have to kiss goodbye to my plans of retiring prior to 65. You simply do not switch careers at middle age, especially after 23 years of seniority. True, is usually what i get as a reply. But i usually continue the conversation by stating that i'd never want to live in Quebec unless maybe if i'm retired. Quebec's taxes are eating its workers alive (and its population) and i'd only be earning a fraction of my present salary if i'd move to Quebec in the same line of work i'm in. Salaries in Quebec suck as compared to many of Canada's wealthier provinces. Hell, the Quebec economy sucks & this is no big secret!
I'm also fully aware that visiting Mtl every 2 months or so isn't the same as actually living there. If i'd live in Mtl, i couldn't live the way i do when i'm travelling there. I'd likely live in a suburb & likely would venture into the city mostly for work & to meet up with visiting friends. I would have to implement restrictions on my hobbying & monitor the money i put into it constantly. If i would see myself losing control of this, i'd likely have to move out of town or face bankruptcy. Goodbye to spending my afternoons either in Old Mtl having a drink outside, on Crescent street at a 'terrasse', or at the HDM rooftop enjoying the scenery. No more Chez Paree or Wanda's. No more having lunch at my favorite, Reuben's, or enjoying chicken wings at the HRC. No more excursions to the St-Hubert BBQ located in Windsor Station. No more regular trips to HMV & to the Eaton Center. No more regular dates with the ladies at expensive restaurants. My life in Mtl would be totally different if i'd live there & its everyday life would probably stress the hell out of me after a time & i'd eventually have to go somewhere else in order to unwind & relax. Somewhere that would serve the purpose Mtl presently does for me.
I wish you the best, Anon_Vlad & may you find what you're seeking. I know exactly how you feel...but then again, maybe not.
I don't want to reveal absolutely everything, but I meant 60k is the threshold for being in the top 10%. I actually made a fair bit more and definitely, despite an excellent accountant, did definitely pay 44.6% in combined federal and provincial income taxes. Don't forget that UIC and QPP are taxes for those who never collect them. (QPP is entirely clawed back for those whose income exceeds a lower middle class level). It varies from year to year, but there are also anti-poverty contributions, direct contributions for Medicare, surcharges above a certain income level etc. all of which I consider as income taxes.
Originally Posted by SMACK APPEAL
You are right about the GST/PST. It was 15% until last year, but is now about 13%.
I seem to have unintentionally slightly exaggerated, but with user fees, property taxes, gas tax etc, certainly more than 50% (I estimate 60%) of my income goes to some sort of tax.
Last edited by anon_vlad; 05-18-2008 at 02:04 PM.
montreal is a great 2nd home have. no canadian income means no canadian income tax.