Oakville Homes

June 30, 2009

Mattamy Homes needs a reality check – billionaire welfare is on the out

alphainventions

A while back, I noted that I and others had received emails from Peter Gilgan, the billionaire owner of Mattamy Homes.  In this letter, he stated that we should all contact our local politicians and say that the development charges should be reduced.  He made a claim that the charges were going up $8,000 per house – a fact proved wrong.  But, reduced development charges mean saved profits and increased taxes.  I just wonder if Peter still lives in Halton after the big reduced sale on his old house ($45 mill to $35 mill) and is therefore a taxpayer in Halton?

Well, I had sent in my email, utilizing the nicely provided list of email addresses, asking my local elected politicians to ensure that the development charges weren’t dropped and that they reflected the cost of new development.  Why should my taxes go up to assist in billionaire welfare?  Hell, I’d already paid Mattamy for my house, and they gave me no break on the lack of hydro and illegal (code) wiring.  Something they certainly saved money on.  I suggest Peter call Obama and Harper and see if he can work a deal.  Seems they don’t mind handing out money, except to those of us struggling on pensions.

The following is an email I received from the Office of Councillor John Taylor, Ward Three, Halton Region.  I couldn’t have said it better.

 

From the Office of Councillor John Taylor

 Good afternoon,

 Thank you for your email on this important subject. First of all a Development charge is not a tax but a Capital Contribution towards the Municipal infrastructure to support growth such as water/wastewater plants and pipes and roads. The process is highly regulated by provincial legislation and includes significant public and industry participation in both the Advisory Committee and Council reviews. The Development Charge that was approved by Council in May 2008 was over a year in the making and was not appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by the development industry.

 Our Official Plan also requires staff to prepare, and Council to approve, a detailed implementation and financial plan before development can proceed. These plans were provided in November 2008 and have been discussed many times with the industry since then. The extra charges are necessary so that existing taxpayers do not pay for the legislated exemptions to full cost recovery as well as discretionary support for industrial /commercial development. There are also charges to provide an abnormally high percentage of new infrastructure required in the first few years of the plan.

 In short we are in the middle of  a “perfect storm”—no money means no infrastructure which results in no development approvals and therefore no construction. Collectively the public through their municipal governments are not in a financial position to subsidize new growth without a substantial increase in property taxes. All of us will be paying increased taxes for a long long time to pay for the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler for example. I hope this clarifies my position.

 Regards,

 John Taylor
City/Regional Councillor
Ward 3

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