Comment 120813

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted February 21, 2017 at 09:47:49

First I'm a planner not an engineer. Second many of those things you think are really cheap aren't because they have to be able to withstand widely varying weather and temperatures for long periods of time (years going on decades before they are replaced). Remember nearly every city in North America including Canadian ones, have massive infrastructure deficits because when it was cheap and easy to fix services like bridges, water lines as well as storm and sanitary sewers, politicians decided it was easier to keep property taxes down and do the fixes later. The list of things needing fixes piled up and got larger, while the things that already needed fixing degraded even more.

Then suburbanites get upset when planners and engineers tell them that the communities that they love so much don't come close to producing enough property taxes to even pay for their community's upkeep costs let alone the original installation costs. Mainly because of there complete lack of density and non grid street layouts which by design, incur higher maintenance costs and help create many of the traffic problems cities face and as predicted almost 45 years ago, don't age well and find that their vehicle centric design elements make anything other than private vehicles extremely inefficient. When things like LRT get proposed to improve things even in a small way people complain about their taxes and the misuse of public funds.

So lets try this little shot of reality, to pay for all the things that cities need and this has been proven, with what has been the common form of community development for the last 60+ years in the northern 2/3 of North America, property taxes for pretty much everyone are going up, a lot, most likely will have to double for most suburbanites to start covering the real cost of those communities they live in. For decades, local commercial and business taxes were used by municipal governments to cover the gap property residential property taxes couldn't cover. However, one of the last things Harris's Conservative Provincial Government did was to make sure business taxes cover more than 55% of the municipal budget, so if you had been paying attention that's when your suburban property taxes probably started increasing at ever greater amounts than before.

This is why Toronto has been increasing its density wherever it can by growing upwards with condo towers along all those long empty suburban main streets. As a result the city of Toronto has increased its population by 500,000-600,000 with no green field land left, they simply started using old unusable industrial lands, empty property frontage along main street in the old inner suburbs or nearly empty suburban plaza parking lots, also along old inner suburban main streets. More taxes and taxpayers per square km of land and lots of new development and best of all, the existing housing stock is protected. That's one of the reasons now many communities around Toronto complain that, the city of Toronto keeps it property taxes down at lower levels than they do and that these suburban communities are now losing well off taxpayers, who are moving back into the city.

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