Comment 29740

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2009 at 23:56:21

Seancb, if Hamilton was a roaring success, then you would have justification in supporting a government that takes about 50% more of people's assets than surrounding communities. However, Hamilton is not a success, it's falling apart, save for the recent commercial developments that have sprung up since commercial tax rates were reduced.

Instead of attacking me personally, why not be open to the possibility that what Ryan talks about may be true, namely that incentives affect people's behaviour. Ryan makes an excellent point when he talks about subsidized roads promoting suburban development and higher transit subsidies promoting increased transit ridership. Therefore, if the city wants to attract more property investment, the city needs to lower the rate at which it taxes this investment.

Most great cities in the world have strong private sectors, Hamilton does not. Hamilton has chosen the way of big government, high tax rates and the result has been a steady decline in our prosperity relative to surrounding communities. There's no reason why the city couldn't reduce spending to population growth plus inflation, thus allowing the real per capita GDP growth filter directly to the people who produce it. If this happened for a decade or so, there would be a massive transfer of spending power from elected officials and city employees, to the average person and business owner.

Each person would still get the city services they do today, since government spending would be adjusted for inflation, but any new programs or grand ideas would be left up to the people and not the politicians. Instead of a Red Hill Expressway or a new stadium, there would greater spending on home renovations, or at local stores and restaurants. By cutting tax rates, you would be handing the power back to the people who earn the money and taking it away from the people who don't. Less central planning and more free enterprise.

Even former communist China, Russia and Eastern Europe have discovered that low tax rates and less government spending helps grow the economy and increase investment. Furthermore, many countries in Europe also understand the positive effects of lowering taxes on investment, for example...Sweden has a corporate tax of 25% on profits, Denmark 25%, Netherlands 25.5%, Norway 28%, Finland 26%. They all understand that incentives matter and that you can't expect to get something for nothing.

As soon as the City of Hamilton allows people and businesses to keep a HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF THEIR NET WORTH, you will see a stop to the exodus of investment this city has experienced over the last few decades.

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