Comment 78888

By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted June 24, 2012 at 22:36:16 in reply to Comment 78813

One problem is the city's tax base has become very unbalanced over the past few decades. Residential properties bear far too great a proportion of the total assessment, compared to industrial/commercial property.

Two of the biggest reasons for this are probably the decline of heavy capital-intensive industry, and the city's failure to attract enough new business to compensate for that loss.

This is another reason why increasing local employment by attracting new firms or growing existing ones is so important; the benefit is not just local jobs for city residents, but a more sustainable tax structure for the city. But it's a long process, especially since SMEs make up such a large portion of business, and development of major facilities (like those of Maple Leaf) doesn't happen very often.

Hamilton's economy is very much in transition, and that will continue for a long time. But hopefully the tax base will gradually shift back to something more balanced.

EDIT - One element of Hamilton's transition relates back to the point raised in the original article: Hamilton's institutional employment has grown, as medical and educational facilities have been growing and developing. But if they're not paying a "fair" rate, the effect of that growth on the tax base is negligible. (Of course, those facilities do have other positive economic effects, but not in the same way as something like a new manufacturing facility or office complex)

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2012-06-24 23:19:47

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