Comment 104960

By jason (registered) | Posted September 29, 2014 at 21:33:35 in reply to Comment 104955

This is a great comment with many different issues to address. If you're open, I'd love to share a few thoughts on these issues.

  1. Who benefits from LRT? According to studies done in cities all over North America, as the new development arrives along the LRT routes, this adds new taxes into the city coffers. Every single person who pays a tax bill with "City of Hamilton" on it, benefits. See this piece for an idea of how drastically our tax situation will be improved as we see revitalization sweep the lower city.

Remember, the city (that means existing tax payers like you and I) lose money on every single new house that is built in a new subdivision. The taxes on each home doesn't come close to covering the infrastructure/hydro/sewer costs to service the new subdivision. The roads/sewers already exist in the old city. We need to add thousands of more units and development here. This is one reason why Mississauga has been going nuts trying to add towers to their 'downtown'. They realize all the decades of sprawl have set them up in a huge hold financially because low density, single family homes add to the debt burden.

1a. Remember, the city's LRT plan includes 5 eventual lines of which 3 will cross the Mountain, 2 will be in Stoney Creek, 1 across the lower city and 1 in Ancaster, Dundas and Waterdown. We need to remember long-term planning has to start somewhere. We can't build all 5 routes at once. I wish.

TWO: Area Rating. Sadly, your councillors (not sure which ward you are in) haven't been honest with you since amalgamation. Bob Wade said it best in the late 90's when asked his estimate of how much $ in the development of the Meadowlands came from inner city Hamilton. His response: "around 70-80%".

Prior to amalgamation, the old city of Hamilton saw it's tax revenue drained every year to build all the new sprawl roads/highways/sewer/water/electrical expansions to allow for the creation of places like Waterdown sprawl and Meadowlands. Ancaster and Flamborough couldn't come close to paying for such development on their own even if they wanted to. The tax increases in the suburbs since amalgamation have been phased in to bring the entire city to the SAME tax rate. Please let that sink in. Since the creation of regional government in 1974, the old city was paying WAY higher tax rates than the suburbs. In 2000 I was paying between 50-75% higher taxes than someone in urban Dundas or Ancaster. The increases the past several years haven't been enjoyable for you I'm sure, but it's only happening to finally bring us all to the same rate after 40 years of the old city subsidizing the suburbs.

Hamilton has held it's tax increases to the 1-2% rate the past few years. Lowest in Southern Ontario. We can't get it any lower. It's time to hold the province to it's 800 million $ promise for LRT (which we are paying for whether we take the $ or not) so we can invest in bringing new development here which will ease the tax burden on all of us. Saying no to LRT simply means we are giving away money to another city. That 15 billion $ transit fund at the province is only going to be used on transit. Hamilton can elect a mayor to fight for our share, or we can elect someone who will send hundreds of millions of it back to the province. Either way, we pay the same provincial taxes. I'm tired of dead-beats always selling Hamilton short. I'm voting for a mayor who will put the city's interests first for once.

Comment edited by jason on 2014-09-29 21:34:40

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