Comment 61712

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 29, 2011 at 01:06:56 in reply to Comment 61707

In 2009, the City of Windsor spent $692.1M for a population of 216,473 (2006). I don't have the updated population estimates, but let's assume it grew by 1% a year, bringing the 2009 population to 223,032. That means that in 2009, Windsor spent $3,103 per person. Of that, $1,137 went to social services per person.

That means the per person spending, unrelated to welfare was $1966 in 2009.

In 2009, Mississauga spent, including its share of Peel region, $1,514B for a population of 731,000. That works out to $2,071 per person, with the social services portion costing $696. This leaves the rest of the city budget at $1,375 per person for 2009.

Regardless of how Windsor is doing economically, why does it need to spend 42.9% more per person than Mississauga does to run its city?

Now let's compare tax rates between Mississauga and Windsor...

Residential

Windsor - 1.84%
Mississauga - 1.017%

Multi Res.

Windsor - 4.22%
Mississauga - 1.61%

Commercial

Windsor - 4.82%
Mississauga - 2.52%

Industrial

Windsor - 6.12%
Mississauga - 2.88%

Obviously, Windsor can't match Mississauga's tax rates in the near future, but it could start to take steps to become more efficient in its spending. By doing this, they would start getting a reputation as being a responsible city, like Mississauga enjoys. Over time, more people and businesses would move there and property values would rise, decreasing the need for high rates.

It's not automatic that cities have to just keep taxing and spending. Businesses don't operate this way and the ones that do, go bankrupt. Mississauga models itself like a business and in doing so, enjoys strong population growth and low taxes.

Windsor likely got used to being close to Detroit, felt less stress to run a tight budget and ended up unprepared for the eventual auto downturn. In other words, they got lazy and inefficient.

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