Comment 30001

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 07, 2009 at 15:39:45

arienc >> Which leads me to conclude that the level of residential property taxation isn't really A Smith's primary's actually the level of property values in the city

You're correct. I believe that the city is unnecessarily depressing property values (most people's biggest asset) by insisting on keeping tax rates too high. I wouldn't mind paying more in total property taxes, as long as it was a smaller percentage of the underlying asset. That way, the city still gets the money it needs, but the property owners increase their net worth.

>> it's actually the level of property values in the city, by which Hamilton sorely lags all of the above. Which are highly influenced by the livability and desirability of the community.

How does a community become desirable? By having homes that are in good condition so that the area looks prosperous. Hamilton has tax rates that punish rising property values and so the result has been to decrease the amount of money people will invest in the upkeep of their homes.

When people don't invest in their properties, they start to look run down. When a city looks run down, people don't want to live there anymore. It sounds superficial, but most people like living near well maintained and well built homes.

If tax rates were capped at 1%, this would increase the return on investing in one's home, making it much more likely that people would do so. Over time, homes and neighbourhoods would start to look new again and this in turn would make Hamilton a much more desirable place to live and invest. Hamilton is going through an ugly stage right now and it needs a makeover. The best way to do that is to stop punishing homeowners for trying to do just that.

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