Comment 30002

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted April 07, 2009 at 16:14:50

A Smith said "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."

I didn't want to get involved in this but this part bothered me. Do you really believe that the only reason people don't improve their homes is because they fear an increase in its assessed value? There are so many other factors that come into play with the decision to upgrade the home, for example one important factor (for me anyway) is how much the homeowner likes their community. If I lived in a house that was close to public transit, schools, green space, markets, etc., then I'm much more likely to stay put and spend the money to upgrade my existing home rather than moving.

I've added emphasis to the key part of your argument. It will take time for the property values to rise enough to offset the original drop in tax revenue, if it ever does at all. Businesses and people move to a city for more than just the tax rates. Yes, dramatically lowering tax rates would probably attract newcomers but how long will they stay in a city that can't afford to fill potholes or fix broken water mains?

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