Comment 30014

By arienc (registered) | Posted April 07, 2009 at 23:17:40

A Smith > In Hamilton, if you spend $10,000 increasing the value of your home, you decrease your net income by $165. In Burlington, if you invest the same $10,000, your net income drops by only $110. Therefore, what community is less likely to want to invest in the upkeep of their homes?

You make 2 very flawed assumptions here.

One is that MPAC actually looks at your house when assessing. They don't. They take the square footage and look at the sale prices of similar properties in the neighbourhood. Taxes do not factor in whatsoever to one's decision to upgrade or to properly maintain their homes.

The other is that by reducing municipal taxes you somehow gain market value. If one has the choice between buying a home in Hamilton for $188K, with $2,500 annual taxes and a home in Burlington for $375K with $3,500 annual taxes, which will you choose? If the Hamilton home were taxed at $1,750 (the same rate as Burlington), would there be so much demand the price would go up to $375K? Very unlikely.

As I stated earlier, tax is not a major factor in the decision to move to a particular city. Location IS a major factor. This is defined by access to jobs, and to quality of life provided. Things like convenient, rapid transit greatly enhance access to economic opportunities, and thereby enhance market values far more than tax rates. And as market values go up, your the tax rate problem thereby is addressed.

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