Hamilton is facing an intense gypsy moth infestation this year. It's especially threatening because many trees are weakened from previous summertime droughts and may not survive a full-on onslaught from the invasive species.
Hamilton has a plan to kill them by spraying a biological pesticide in parts of Dundas, Ancaster and West Hamilton.
However, the plan does not cover rural areas because of the cost, and that has angered many rural residents, who argue that "We want to be treated the same."
As Binbrook resident Joe Starr put it in a letter to the Spec, "The rural residents of Glanbrook pay their taxes to the City of Hamilton. [...] We are now residents of Hamilton. Give us what we are entitled to."
I agree with the rural residents who want equal treatment. I think that all of Hamilton's citizens should equally share the burden, and enjoy the benefit, of Hamilton's services and institutions.
That's why we at Raise the Hammer argue that the practice of area rating should end, especially for key services such as transit.
For years, Hamilton residents have borne the brunt of taxation for transit, recreation, and fire services.
In 2007, for example, Flamborough paid nothing towards Hamilton's transit system, with the bulk of the cost borne by lower city residents, many of whom can least afford it. (At the same time, the former township keeps the tax assessments from Flamborough Casino.)
Now rural residents in Flamborough and elsewhere want equal treatment. Even though there aren't any gypsy moth larvae in the trees in my backyard that I can see, I agree with them. I don't mind paying to help my neighbours in the country.
I just want the same consideration in return.
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