Comment 29717

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 15:09:38

Steel >> SHOULD politicians play a bigger role in protecting the steel industry?

The best thing Hamilton politicians can do if they want to help the steel industry, or any business, is to cut their property tax rate. In Hamilton, industry currently pays 6.44% and commercial properties pay 4.57%. In comparison, the next highest industrial tax rate in the GTA is Oshawa at 5.2%. The rest of the GTA industrial tax rates range from 2.69% to 4.52%. For commercial tax rates in the GTA, they range from 2.25% to 4.1%.

If we're trying to help businesses, how does charging them the highest tax rates in the GTA help? Businesses, including the steel industry, need profits in order to invest in new equipment, so by limiting their profits, the city is ensuring that they become less productive then their foreign competitors.

If Hamilton politicians made our tax rates the lowest in the GTA (capped at 1%), we would be the most attractive place (by a wide margin) for business to locate. Just like people like to shop at stores (like Walmart) that give them the best deal, we need to give businesses the best deal. If we became the Walmart of cities, we could soon become the the most profitable city in the country
and also have the highest tax revenues for government to spend.

Therefore, the message to Hamilton politicians is to be nice and let the private sector keep more of their money. If they can reduce their greed, they will be rewarded with more investment and tax revenues than they can currently imagine.

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