Comment 60343

By DanielRodrigues (registered) - website | Posted February 27, 2011 at 22:38:44

Unfortunately, this particular piece contains some misleading statements.

Area rating only applies to the tax levy base...it does not raise $$ towards any cause. The article points out that HSR is "starved for funding"; area rating is not going to solve this. If the cost to operate HSR is 'x' dollars today, the formula to offset that cost is our current area rating format. Regardless of what the new area rating will be, the amount of tax levy raised towards HSR will still equal 'x'.

I've never really been a fan of using assessment values of homes as the benchmark to measure the inefficiences of tax distribution under the current area rating system, as it's subjective. The better arguement for change would be to look at areas within Hamilton such as Centennial Parkway, wherein homes on the same street are assessed at different rates based on their former municipal boundaries.

We are the only municipality in Canada that area rates based on former municipal boundaries, and we only do so because it was meant to quell the angst of our suburban neighbours in becoming one large community. Now 11 years later, we are still grappling with how to right this unfair rating system. We should be assessing based on services (aka 'service rating'), not by former municipal boundaries.

The Citizen Forum's recommendations are void of cost and service implications; HSR conducted a study on their routing a couple of years ago, yet nothing has been stated of it's outcome; the former City of Hamilton is treated as one lump, yet the 5 former communities are treated as urban/rural settings giving one the impression that the level of service (in the former City of Hamilton)on King Street is the same as the level of service on Rymal Road.

While service rating needs to be overhauled in Hamilton, I'm not convinced that all parts of the current recommendations are the appropriate measures to resolve the inadequacies of our current area rating formula.

Comment edited by DanielRodrigues on 2011-02-27 22:39:36

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