Comment 30792

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2009 at 18:33:53

nobrainer >> We all know there's only ONE variable that adds to or subtracts from the living experience in a given community, and that variable is PROPERTY TAX RATE

You mock and yet this city is still the laughing stock of the province. Big government, high tax rates, low property values, crumbling buildings, high poverty rates, poor economy. Meanwhile, our next door neighbour, with less public services, better maintained neighbourhoods, enjoy higher property values, lower tax rates and less poverty.

The reason why tax rates matter so much, is because they shrink government and they limit spending on things that destroy capital. However, lower tax rates also promote thousands of individual investments by average people and businesses (think Kiva), so when you attack that idea, you show your ignorance of how real wealth is created, by the private sector and not by politicians simply looking to spend money to get reelected. Hamilton needs to be less like Cuba and more like Singapore. The former is an economic basket case, the latter is a wealth and job factory.

>> Then why do more people live in Hamilton than in Burlington?

Because the City of Burlington is restricting the amount of homes that developers can build. And also because Hamilton developed earlier than Burlington and thus has a larger supply of housing stock.

>> Funny, I just sold my house in downtown hamilton for almost twice what I paid for it earlier this decade

That's great, but homes in Burlington have also risen in that time period and they still enjoy a premium over Hamilton home prices. My friend bought a home in Burlington in 2001 that has almost doubled as well. Therefore, Hamilton's homes are still less valued than our GTA neighbours.

Reuben >> determining how desirable a community is cannot be boiled down to one factor.

On an individual basis you are correct, people don't decide to buy in Burlington because it is more expensive. But the fact that people in aggregate, are willing to pay higher prices for homes in Burlington, indicates that there is something overall about Burlington that they value more than Hamilton. Prices simply reflect this greater willingness to hand over larger amounts of cash, something that people do not like to do unless they have to.

Jason >> more people 'want' to live in Burlington, but so far only 100,000+ have made the plunge?? Great theory.

If land owners weren't barred by the government from selling their land to developers, or from zoning regulations, then many more housing units would be built. That's not the fault of the market, but of politicians who like telling others what they can and can't do with property they paid for.

Furthermore, Jason, if downtown Hamilton is such a great place to be, with all of it's transit and historic buildings, why doesn't the market price of homes reflect that great demand? Answer that if you can.

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