Taxes on #HamOnt Parking Lots

In response to a suggestion about raising taxes on parking lots in the City of Hamilton, I wrote the following comment in Raise the Hammer.

*******

Yes, taxes could change behaviour if people were acting in their best self-interest.

In my opinion, destroying more buildings and creating more parking lots makes everyone worse off –developers, business owners and the city.

Parking lots generate less tax revenue than keeping a building in place a filling it with a successful business.  As we lose more buildings, we lose more opportunities to fill those buildings with small and independent businesses.

Without those businesses, the need to increase taxes discourages both existing and future economic activity.

With less tax revenue, the city’s ability to support existing services or to provide new services to attract people to the core further declines.

Without places to shop or activities to entertain, the people increasingly go elsewhere. This further strengthens a negative feedback cycle that will continue until we start looking like parts of Detroit.

Just ask yourself, how attractive does Gore Park look now compared last year?

So, who wins in such a situation?  Does a developer really advance his financial interests by making properties vacated wastelands?

I really don’t see how you get from point “A” (empty lands) to point “B” (profitable development).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s