Comment 29725

By Mike B (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 15:55:03

Though I stopped reading most of A. Smith's misguided and tiresome novel a while back, he does have one very good point:

"If Hamilton politicians made our tax rates the lowest in the GTA (capped at 1%), we would be the most attractive place (by a wide margin) for business to locate."

I think it's hard to argue that Hamilton's relatively higher tax rates are a "positive" or selling-point for the city. What Hamilton does have going for it (proximity to Toronto and other urban centres in Southern Ontario) can cut both ways: It's just as easy to pick up and leave, especially when there is very little financial incentive for businesses (and residents in some cases) to stay here. I love this city and all, but it's not like the level of services that residents receive for their taxes is superior to other nearby municipalities, and it doesn't yet have the social dynamism of Toronto that might attract those who are willing to pay a tax premium.

That's not to say that, though, that lowering taxes will help anything: there's no guarantees that these revenues could be made up through other means, and impoverishing the city in the hopes of attracting business to the area during a recession is a rather large risk.

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