Comment 35735

By jason (registered) | Posted November 25, 2009 at 17:36:19

James, I appreciate your honesty and desire to see the bigger picture.

Just to make you aware, one of the biggest changes that will arise from area rating is to improve transit service in suburbs who currently aren't paying much towards transit, but will be once they pay the same transit tax rate as Hamiltonians. You'll see improved service in Waterdown once we get rid of area rating.

As for the Burlington comparison, it's really not a fair comparison. If our entire Golden Horseshoe operated in a fair manner we would recognize the fact that the majority of social needs are pushed out of wealthy suburbs like Burlington and Oakville and into the big, older cities like Hamilton and Toronto. Toronto receives transfer payments from surrounding areas to help with social costs, but Hamilton gets the shaft by the province as usual in this respect. I realize that currently it would appear to be a good savings to move to Burlington, but many people locally and at the provincial level are pressing hard for fairness to be brought to the table when it comes to dealing with the social burden in the GTA. Either Burlington can start keeping their addicts, social service recipients and increasing taxes to pay for the social costs of housing, shelters etc.... or they can start sending some payments Hamilton's way since most Burlingtonians who fall on hard times come into our city since the social services are already well established and accessible. One would hope that places like Halton who push their poorest citizens elsewhere will see some tax increases to help us pay for dealing with their social responsibilities.

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