Comment 32342

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted July 08, 2009 at 20:01:53

JonC >> "For example, for every 100 houses that get built with the freeze in effect we'll be losing about $700,000 which will have to be made up from some other funding source."

The numbers you provided do NOT show that the cost of servicing suburban homes are 7k in excess of what these same homes produce in new tax revenue to the city. All they show is that city staff WANT to charge 7k more for each new house built. If you want to prove that new area home buyers are getting a super deal, you need to show how much more in services they will receive vs how much they pay in property taxes.

Furthermore, because new homes enjoy much higher market values than central Hamilton homes, they also pay much higher property taxes. For example, the average home downtown pays $2,442/yr, while homes in the west end pay $3,902/yr. Do the people of the west end enjoy $1,460 dollars of extra services/yr than residents downtown receive? If so, what are they?

Moreover, the people who are getting the BEST deal from the city, are not buyers in the new areas of the city, but new buyers of existing homes. These home buyers did not pay for existing infrastructure, yet they enjoy it's benefits. Furthermore, they don't pay anything in development costs, saving themselves 20k per house as compared to new home buyers in most areas of the city.

I agree that developers should pay to hook new homes up to existing infrastructure, but beyond that, property taxes should cover the rest.

Unless you can prove that new homes increase costs more than they increase overall revenue to the city (not just based on what city staff WANT to charge), than your argument against new area homes is nothing more a general bias against suburban living, not one based on evidence.

Lastly, please address my point about the city's falling tax rates combined with it's healthy increase in property tax revenue. The only way this can happen is if assessments are increasing FASTER than costs are going up, which is a good thing. Seeing that this is happening as many new housing developments (and Big Box stores) take shape across the city, it weakens the argument that greenfield development is anything but a net positive to the city's finances.

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