Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The city just doesn't get it.

In the context of the previous posting I would like to point out why I think that Toronto just does not understand the source and depths of tis problems.

Toronto's tax policy towards commercial and industrial properties has caused an exodus to the 905 region. As the Vital Signs report (previous post) shows. The 905 region experienced an increase in employment of 27.2% while the population grew by 9.2%. What this shows is that a number of those new jobs must be taken by people outside of the 905 region. Namely Toronto. How does the city reconcile this with it's public transit plans? How do the poor, without cars, likely living in overtaxed rental housing, get to the jobs that the city chased away to the 905 region?

First off , it should be noted that the city has done some research on this issue. A report done by Hemson Consulting on behalf of the city, you really must wonder if they grasp the concepts of economics. One of the comparisons in the report is that of constructing a new office building in Toronto compared to Mississauga. Even though the land cost 55% more in Mississauga (which in itself is indicative of fundamental problems) it is economically unfeasible to build such a office in Toronto while it is in Mississauga. Also it shows that even though Toronto commercial property tax rate is 59% higher, by means of devaluing the assessment, the city only generates 2% more tax revenue. All the while it misses out on the development and other charges which net the city a lot of revenue.

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