Comment 32384

By arienc (registered) | Posted July 11, 2009 at 09:23:15

Some reasons why property taxes should be lower in downtown areas than in the suburbs:

  • smaller lots: less distance for water and sewage to travel from the residences to the main lines, easier to collect waste.
  • less road space to be built, policed, maintained and cleared per dwelling.
  • fewer/smaller parks and recreation facilities.

Yes, development charges are passed on to homebuyers. That is the point. Those who buy new homes should pay the full cost of capital for the public services that make those homes livable. And yes, bigger homes spread farther apart that have more road space, sewer mains, should pay more, based on what it costs to build new facilities and support added upkeep on existing facilities.

After all, when an owner sells that home, he or she receives a market price which includes the market value affected by being near to schools, parks, and having efficient and modern services.

If on the other hand we do not collect the full cost in the development charge to developers, the developer will still sell the home at whatever price the market will bear, and therefore since market value reflects the value of those services, the developer will realize a profit that is fully taxpayer-subsidized. I'm all for developers being able to make a profit, but it should be on their own dime, not mine.

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