Comment 29978

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 06, 2009 at 17:10:42

>> However at that rate would the city be able to cover infrastructure and maintenance expenses?

Increasing market demand pushes property values higher, so yes, lower rates will ensure that the city has plenty of resources for basic services.

>> I don't pretend to know where we are on that curve, but I don't think we want to be too hasty either way.

Is it unreasonable to aim for the GTA average in terms of tax rates?

>> Just because the vacancy rates are falling does not mean the city itself is in better overall financial shape.

The only cities with high vacancy rates are those where nobody wants to live. Conversely, when you see new construction, that is a sign that the city is doing something right. However, what explains the difference between Hamilton and Burlington on that score? Why does the market like Burlington much more than Hamilton? I believe it's because Burlington allows residents to keep more of their wealth.

Property taxes are taxes on success. Therefore, if I renovate my home and it's value goes up by $10,000, Hamilton charges me $165 for my efforts. If I live in Burlington and I do the same thing, my taxes only go up by $110. Therefore, what community is going to invest more in maintaining and improving the quality of their housing stock?

If Hamilton truly wants better quality homes that are in greater demand from the buying public, it needs to stop punishing success.

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