Comment 87720

By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted April 07, 2013 at 01:21:34

My concern is the tools being put forward are insufficient and are doomed to failure.

We have this situation whereby cities are creatures of the province and they are asked to deliver services that are costly, subject to inflationary pressures, and are consumers of energy, and they are asked to do this on the basis, primarily, of property tax revenues. That, in turn, gives way to the vicious circle of "assessment growth" which is building subdivisions to produce property taxpayers to pay for the infrastructure and services of the last round of "assessment growth".

If we want cars off the road and people using transit then we need a series of disincentives and incentives and we need transit to be fast, reliable, and comfortable. In Toronto, for example, nothing makes a transit user want to buy a car and sit in gridlock more so than being crammed into a subway car at rush hour and then having it stop and wait for an interminable period and for no apparent reason.

If each municipality is to use different funding tools the results will be mixed and the funding will remain problematic. First and foremost, the province should introduce and administer a carbon tax with revenues earmarked exclusively for the purpose of the Big Move. The emphasis ought to be not only on routes and efficiency but also on deploying enough vehicles to ensure a reasonable level of convenience and comfort while traveling.

New funding tools should still be made available to municipalities to assist in breaking the cycle of assessment growth and allowing municipalities to mature as political entities and economic engines.

Comment edited by ViennaCafe on 2013-04-07 01:23:05

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