Comment 105668

By dwight (anonymous) | Posted October 27, 2014 at 19:41:16

I hate to kindle urban-suburban fires, but development charges are really a tax on inner cities to pay for greenfield development. The Development Charges Act is supposed to allow municipalities to charge for increased services required due to increased projected development. That is, you calculate increased projected need for services and increased projected development, residential and non-residential. Unfortunately the Act is badly drafted, or I would say, intentionally left ambiguous, and allows municipalities to charge everyone in the municipality for development anywhere in the municipality. Hence it becomes a tax, not a fee, and the auto body owner on a serviced inner city street is charged $75,000 when he applies for a permit to build an addition that will have a net increased servicing need of 0. Municipalities can charge these differently, and some like Ottawa put in place zones wherein there are generally greater levels of projected development and hence increased services. But the combination of technicality, the development lobby, and the misperception that these are indeed fees and not taxes, makes for little traction.

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