12/06/2012 18:00 EST | Updated 02/05/2013 05:12 EST

Applebaum promises lower property taxes

The mayor of Montreal said he is following through on a promise to limit the increases in property taxes and transit fares.

Michael Applebaum presented amendments to the 2013 budget to the city's finance committee.

The amendments include eliminating a 1.1 per cent water tax for property owners. This would reduce the average property tax increase from the proposed 3.3 per cent to 2.2 per cent.

Transit fare increases would also be reduced from three per cent to two per cent.

The changes are expected to pass, with the support of the two municipal opposition parties and some independent councillors.

Political alliance rumours swirl at city hall

The mayor dismissed rumours of a possible political alliance with former Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe.

"You can start rumours about me and Gilles Duceppe – me and Céline Dion – anybody that you want, but for me the objective here is to serve citizens," said Applebaum.

Reports claimed Michael Applebaum would be teaming up with Duceppe for the upcoming November 2013 municipal election. The rumours were sparked after some media began reporting that the mayor was about to hire Duceppe's former chief of staff.

Duceppe also refuted the gossip, saying he barely knows Applebaum.

"I don't know him more than what I see in the media," he said. "Is it April 1st today?"

Applebaum said he received the staffer's CV but has no intention to meet or hire him.