02/23/2015 02:09 EST | Updated 04/25/2015 05:59 EDT

Robert Poëti wants new tax for homes near public transit

The Quebec government wants to give cities in the province the power to tax those who live in newly-built residences close to current or future public transit sites.

Transport Minister Robert Poëti told Radio-Canada the new revenue would be used to finance projects such the Train de l'Ouest, light-rail transit on the new Champlain Bridge or a new metro station.

Poëti said the new tax bill for residents would be more than offset by the savings enjoyed by the access to public transit. 

"You know, when people decide to buy a condo near a subway or a transit line, they can give up the second car," he said.

"These are significant savings."

Poëti said a similar funding model has been used "throughout the world, in other places, and it has worked," citing in particular the example of Barcelona, Spain.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said he was open to the idea, but added government would need to make sure it's clear the tax revenue is going straight into the transit project.