Comment 14624

By arienc (registered) | Posted November 27, 2007 at 19:52:06

Adrian...thanks for your post...we both know the federal government is doing a very poor job at addressing the priorities of Canadians when it comes to foreign policy and climate change.

But putting another set of priorities on the federal level creates a moral hazard where municipalities can continue to run things in the same old way -- like delinquent teenagers feeding the profits from public assets to suburban big-box developers, knowing that "daddy government" will always bail them out.

In the end, we still pay. The only difference is the bag-holder is spread out over more citizens. It doesn't address the core issue of city-building processes that are unsustainable, which led us to underinvest in infrastructure in the first place.

I still believe that communities should bear the full responsibility for their funding decisions. If you want to build something in your community and you don't have the money, go to your citizens and raise taxes.

Cities will need to consider other sources of income than property taxes - the purpose of those is to pay for the operating of the property - things like garbage collection, snow clearing, police & fire dept's.

I propose development charges, as that best addresses the issue of how our current practices subsidize "bidness". I don't like income tax - I prefer to tax usage and consumption, in order to reward those who choose to live more modestly and encourage citizens to invest to build a future rather than spend today.

The public assets that surround and support a given piece of land should be embedded in the value of that land, from day 1 when the development permit is issued.

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