Comment 104755

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 23, 2014 at 11:36:50 in reply to Comment 104751

Tax increment financing is one approach: the public infrastructure investment leads to increased tax revenue from new private development along the line. This new development also leads to new jobs and businesses, which generate revenue. Instead of "raising tax rates" the city borrows against future increased tax revenue from new development. It is very commonly used in the USA.

By the way, there is also "no interest from the private sector" in building and maintaining Hamilton's roads, public housing, its water and sewage system or most other municipal services. Maybe we should be consistent in our spending, and decide to stop spending tax dollars on any public services. For example instead of spending up to $100 million in city revenues per year on roads, why not charge motorists directly for snow removal, road construction and repair, traffic policing instead of paying them out of property taxes? Maybe each street could be sold to the adjacent property owners, who would be responsible for maintenance and would be allowed to charge motorists to use it (via gps)? This is actually how roads were financed in the past ...

And maybe if motorists paid a toll and various direct user fees, the private sector would be interested in building and running LRT, just like they did in the days of Hamilton's streetcars...it might level the playing field a bit.

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