Greenfields help push up taxes
RE: How fighting urban sprawl inflates housing prices (June 26)
Wendell Cox’s superficial explanation has one legitimate aspect: Any restrictions on serviced land will increase house prices. He focuses on urban boundaries and conveniently omits zoning restrictions, building costs and the “bigger picture.”
He intentionally sidesteps the financial consequences of greenfield development, in particular the unanimous conclusion of every legitimate study done in the last 45 years detailing the fact that greenfield development actually raises taxes for all others.
Hamilton’s noticeably high tax rates are partially due to a sprawling, overbuilt, inefficient, underfunded and unsustainable infrastructure built before the establishment of the greenbelt. Nor does he mention the obvious negative effect on the price of local fresh food.
Blaming the affordability problem on one factor is finger-pointing at its worst. We need broad-based solutions that are good for society, the environment, overall health, local food production, municipal infrastructure, affordable housing and assisted housing. Consider starting with renewing postwar suburbs that are past their due dates. This can lead to affordability, efficiency, fewer taxes, better transit and less infrastructure per capita. David Braden, Puslinch