Comment 52264

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted November 26, 2010 at 13:46:06

Hammer >> It doesn't apply to these municipalities because, they are not nearly the size of Hamilton

What does that have to do with anything. As long as a community can build sprawl, while also keeping taxes and debt down, then it doesn't matter how many sprawl subdivisions you have, each one will still be tax efficient.

>> it shouldn't be developed unless it is of higher density in order to maintain it

NYC is a very dense city. Guess what, for all that density and infrastructure productivity, it has the same tax rates as T.O., plus a city sales tax, plus a net deficit in 2009 of $96.7 BILLION dollars. You may be correct in stating that infrastructure costs are lower per capita in a dense city, but it in no way follows that this will lead to more efficient government spending OVERALL, lower tax rates or less debt.

Think about it this way, if a city assumes that it is wasteful because it builds sprawl, perhaps this leads it to be more prudent in other areas. Conversely, if a city builds efficiently using a small geographic footprint, it may feel able to be more generous in other areas, like taking on pension obligations. You are looking at one tiny slice of the picture (infrastructure spending) and then drawing conclusions that don't bare out with the evidence.

>> They also all have few major venues... It's also a matter that Hamilton has not made the investments needed in it's core to overhaul the infrastructure, as as a result experiencing high costs to maintain them.

The total budget of Oakville, including it's share of regional costs were $480M in 2008. Per capita that works out to 2,909 per person. Hamilton's total expense in 2008 were $1.377B, or $2,653 per person

Tangible capital costs for Hamilton in 2008 were $161.3M, or $310.8 per person. For Oakville (including regional share), capital spending in 2008 was $154.3M, or $935 per person.

These are numbers taken from the communities annual reports. If you want to show me where these numbers are wrong, please do. If these numbers are correct, however, it is the burbs who currently spend more on infrastructure, EVEN while enjoying lower tax rates, less debt and more sprawl. The numbers don't support your hypothesis that sprawl necessarily leads to higher tax rates.

>> When you have residents stretched out from Flamborough to Stoney Creek, you need a LOT of people and government to maintain it all

All the more reason to fill the empty spaces Hamilton has with people. If parts of Hamilton that currently have 5 per km2 had 50, this would reduce the waste you are referring to. How do you do this without building sprawl?

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