Comment 36764

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2010 at 13:35:31

TreyS >> I'd much rather be working to live rather then living to work.

And under a tax system based on square footage you could do just that. However, under this new tax system, you would also have more incentive to increase the value of your home/neighbourhood, since your new home equity would not be taxed at 1.59%, as is the case today, it would be taxed at 0%.

The city could still tax people at whatever level they wanted, it just wouldn't be able to take more from people just because they added equity to their homes. Taxes would be based on services received and that would be mean the square footage of your home plus the lot size.

People respond to incentives and punishment. The current tax system punishes people for keeping their homes in good shape and punishes them even more if they try and make them look nicer. In contrast, the city gives tax breaks to people who do the opposite.

If a tax system based on sq.footage was in place today, investing in one's home would automatically become more profitable. The result is that people would invest more time and energy in their homes and the result would be a city that looks not necessarily newer, just healthier.

There are many parts of the Hamilton that are filled with great historic homes, but many of them also look extremely uncared for. If a person worked to spruce one of them up and increased the market value by 10k, the city would charge them $159/year for that privilege. In Burlington, that same 10k equity increase would only cost $108. In Toronto, 10k worth of new equity would only result in an additional tax charge of $85.

By taxing effort and success at a tax rate much higher than our neighbours, the City of Hamilton is getting less of it. The result is a city where homes are cared for less, become run down quicker and overall look old and sad. This doesn't have to be the case and if the tax system ever stops punishing hard work, the housing stock of Hamilton will be renewed, turning the city from sick to healthy.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools