Al­ter­na­tive facts are of­ten in­com­plete

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Some­thing doesn’t add up on my tax bill (Feb. 6)

What ‘doesn’t add up’ for writer Mr. Bar­low is his as­ser­tion that an 8.90909 per cent in­crease in as­sess­ment causes an 8.90909 per cent in­crease in his taxes. Tax rates have yet to be set for 2017. If the av­er­age as­sess­ment in­crease for Wa­ter­down comes in at say 12 per cent, then his taxes will ac­tu­ally go down, not up, be­cause he is be­low the av­er­age.

Next thing to ask is, does any­body out there be­lieve Wa­ter­down’s real es­tate mar­ket has gone up by less than 12 per cent over four years? This same mar­ket data drives as­sess­ments cur­rently levied as of Jan­uary 1, 2016, so the re­sound­ing an­swer must be, heck no!

The city has to set tax rates be­fore ex­act con­clu­sions can be made on how much tax will change for any given prop­erty. Their de­ci­sion in­cludes the amount of spend­ing to be re­couped through taxes, and al­lo­ca­tion of that tax bur­den be­tween res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties and busi­ness prop­er­ties.

One prob­lem with al­ter­na­tive facts is that they are of­ten sim­ply and con­ve­niently, in­com­plete. Emil An­drew Sek­erak, Hamil­ton

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