Comment 104806

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 24, 2014 at 13:44:44 in reply to Comment 104797

It is now well understood that sprawl (low density housing built on the edge of existing cities) is in fact one of the major factors in increasing taxes. One of the main ways LRT will decrease taxes is by encouraging better use of already serviced urban land, and this article shows that re-developing vacant lots and buildings generates a huge amount in new taxes, which reduces the need to raise tax rates.

In addition, the operating costs of LRT are far lower and in fact it is estimated to actually make money for the city (75 cents per passenger). This also lowers costs instead of raising them.

Indeed, the latest issue of the Economist specifically mentions sprawl as one of the biggest factors driving unnecessary costs for cities.

And yet, self-described fiscal conservatives who get upset about investments in transit (that discourages sprawl and uses serviced land much more efficiently) don't worry at all about the billions cities are spending subsidizing sprawl.

Just one example, from Edmonton:

"Over the next 30 years, just 17 of more than 40 developing and future neighbourhoods will cost the city more than $500 million more than they provide in taxes, user fees and other revenues."

"Divided evenly across existing Edmonton homes, the cost of this future sprawl would be $60 per home per year, starting now. And then in 30 years, the average cost rises to over $300 per year, every year."

That's not half a billion in taxes, it is the subsidy other parts of the city will have to pay to build sprawl above what those neighbourhoods will generate in taxes!

Talk about mismanagement and tax increases!

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