Comment 35868

By James (registered) | Posted November 30, 2009 at 08:24:29

John, sean and A Smith - social services (among other things, like transit) are absolutely needed but are not in the scope of what property taxes should pay for nor what they were originally designed to pay for. In an ideal world, there would be little to no property tax because they are regressive and fall disproportionately on the poor and middle classes.

I should have been more precise with my last comments - I resent paying for services like culture & rec because in Waterdown, we are not provided with these services yet pay for them. Culture & rec are not public goods - they're beneficial to be sure - but we could muddle along without them. Social services, however, were (before Mike Harris) services paid in whole by the province and they remain provincially mandated and regulated. My resentment lies in the fact that Hamilton is a dumping ground for poor people from the rest of the province and the costs associated with it fall disproportionately on Hamilton taxpayers as a whole. That is why above, I asked you all to stop bashing the burbs and start looking at how Hamilton is being screwed relative to other municipalities. For example, look at Oakville's budget - social services is way down at the bottom in terms of its proportion of the budget. In Hamilton, it's the largest budget item. It is true that the Province gives the city grants and subsidies, but they give those to other municipalities as well and they still don't cover anything close to the full cost. That money is "go away" money and gives windbags like Bratina something to come back with when people like me accuse them of incompetence of this issue.

adam2 - you have made a false cause logically fallacical argument. Just because density is lower does not mean that costs are higher. It's a grossly oversimplified conclusion. Let's take roads for example - most of the roads in Flamborough are lightly traveled and have no trucks on them. Their lifecycle is probably around 10-15 years for paving, maybe more. And when they do need repaved, the base has not been damaged so it's a relatively inexpensive job. There are also no sidewalks to replace and few streetlights or traffic signals. Compare that to Burlington Street - It's a concrete road (much more expensive than ashphalt) and it barely lasts 5 years before it starts crumbling. Then there's all that elevated structure that needs repaired along with sidewalks, signals etc.

More density means more costs but one has more tax revenue to cover those costs. Just look at Toronto - the whole city is built out yet they're in defecit this year half a billion dollars. It's because it's expensive to run a City...

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