Comment 29816

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted March 29, 2009 at 00:32:26

BE, higher wages likely do reduce turnover as you suggest and all things being equal, that would probably be okay. However, it just doesn't seem right that the average city employee should be earning 50-80% more than the average taxpayer. Especially when the residents of Hamilton are taxed at much higher levels relative to their net worth than other communities, such as Burlington.

Is it wrong to want to enjoy the same level of taxation relative to our net worth as other communities? If the taxpayers of Hamilton are paid less than other communities, why shouldn't the people who work for us, also be paid less?

My main argument is to try and reduce the taxes we pay relative to property values, because property values represent wealth. If we could pay a smaller percentage of our net worth in taxes, this would leave more money to spend on other things, like fixing up our homes. Some people have argued that doing so, would mean cutting essential city services and therefore, there is no choice but to continue paying high tax rates.

I have presented the city wage scales to show people that this isn't really the case. That most of the taxes we pay go towards people's salaries and if the city employees wanted to be nice and help reduce the tax on our net wealth, they could. To me it comes down to fairness, city employees are the highest paid workers in this city and this just doesn't seem right. Furthermore, I am not arguing that they should be paid less than average as a group, just not more.

The most important thing that needs to happen to the city budget is to tie employee wages to the taxpayers ability to pay, which means setting a residential tax rate cap at 1%. Otherwise, there will be two groups of workers in Hamilton, city employees and everybody else.

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