Comment 32347

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted July 09, 2009 at 02:38:14

JonC >> $7,394 is the shortfall between the cost to build infrastructure for a new home and the development fee charged. If you want to dispute that figure, that's fine

This is a quote from the CATCH link...

"The change is driven by the need to expand water and sewer treatment and distribution facilities that are already over-capacity because of previous growth. That portion of the charges is climbing $7,778 per house, while combined fees to cover other infrastructure is actually declining by $384."

There you have it, new home buyers are the ones who must now pay the cost of expanding water treatment facilities, not because the average cost is going up by 37.7%, but because previous homeowners allowed spare capacity to run to zero. If the city had actually planned for future population growth, they would have built up a capital fund over the years, not simply charged the last straw on the camel's back to have to pay to fix it.

>> The answer is that the development fee on existing homes were paid WHEN THEY WERE BUILT and the COST HAS BEEN WORKED INTO THE HOME FOR EVERY SALE SINCE THEN.

Because assets depreciate (that means they wear out) over time, the development fees charged to older homes have long since been used up. That's why people have to pay to fix their cars, homes and even their bodies. Assuming that a one time payment 50-80 years ago will cover the costs associated with the upkeep of city infrastructure is ridiculous.

All taxpayers should have to pay a portion of their taxes into a capital improvement fund, which is then used in the expansion and upkeep of city infrastructure as needed. Not simply waiting until things wear out and then pushing the costs onto the newcomers.

Therefore, to the extent that infrastructure was under invested in for decades, it's only fair that ALL taxpayers pay to fix the problem.

>> MPAC has increased their valuation of my home by 6.7% this year which more than offsets the tax decrease of 3.7%. The increase is based on past valuations and assumptions.

According to this... www.thespec.com/News/Business/article/596064
, home prices in Hamilton are up across the board from last year.

However, if you still don't like having to pay higher total taxes, why don't you join my call for a cap on tax increases. This would mean your tax bill would stay in line with your income levels and would limit the city's ability to fund projects that you think are wasteful.

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