Oakville Homes

July 8, 2009

The Perfect Storm brewing in Halton thanks to Mattamy


For those reading the blog, you will know that a battle is forming in Halton regarding Development Charges.  On one side, Regional Chair Carr et al and on the other, the developers led by Mattamy Homes.  At the end, you will find an email sent out by Carr outlining the issue and insuring the taxpayer is aware of the implications if the Development Charges are lowered in response to the developers.  If you go to my blog for July 2nd, you will see a comment and link from Mattamy Homes VP Gary Gregoris, outlining the thoughts of the developers.  I’ll let you read them and make your own opinion on the issue.  But, first I’ll give you a little history lesson.

Back in 1973 when the Region of Halton was being formed there was a meeting at the Holiday Inn in Burlington.  This meeting consisted of provinical representatives such as provincial treasurer John White.  At this meeting, it was obvious that urban growth was to be advanced in the Milton area of the new region.  At the time, Oakville and Burlington paid about 80% of the tax base.  It was felt by Jim Snow, a local Milton resident and an MPP in the Province of Ontario government, that Oakville and Burlington were’nt pushing growth enough and decided to slice off parts of Burlington and Oakville and attach same to Milton.

The only problem was that Milton did not have the sewer and water resources to handle any growth.  A problem that existed for quite some time until a water supply pipe was built to Milton.  Since most of the tax base was in Oakville and Burlington, it was the taxpayer in these places that footed the bill, a surcharge still being felt.  This pipe was not paid for by the development community but allowed the development community to start building and reap great profit on the backs of the Oakville/Burlington taxpayer.  Unlike Peel, where the Ontario government paid into the development of infrastructure to allow growth in northern Peel.

Now, rumour has it that the Town of Milton is facing some financial pinch and I guess the added houses will increase the tax base for them.  Of course, reduced development charges will increase the taxes for the rest of us in Halton.  Another rumour has it that the Town of Milton accepted a loan from the development community in order to build its infrastructure.  A loan that will have to be repaid out of the tax base.

Mr. Gregoris states: “We do agree that home builders and new homebuyers should pay the full cost of growth and that existing taxpayers should NOT pay taxes to support growth and development. This is a fair and reasonable expectation. What isn’t fair or reasonable, is increasing the charges from $16,574 to $41,852 per modest home without any increase in the services provided, and giving Halton the highest new home taxes in North America.”

Well, if the development charges are dropped to accommodate your argument, then it will be the Halton taxpayer who will pay, with the larger portion living in the southern part of Halton.  These people already paid their share and are also paying your share of the pipeline in their water bills.  And, Development Charges aren’t taxes but a levy that insures you pay for what you want.  Kind of like options on a new house.  You pay the base rate and then pay for the extras.  Roads, sewers, etc are extras to accommodate the community you build, not accommodate those already existing.  And, who pays to enlarge the existing infrastructure that has to be modified to accommodate your development.  The taxpayer!!! 

I note you say “NEW” home.  People have the 0ption of either buying the house or not.  The taxpayer doesn’t have this same option.  Your growth will cause our taxes to go up – an option we cannot refuse.

So, it will be either the existing taxpayer paying the freight or the developers, NEW homeowners and speculators. 

Our Halton politicians are making the vote July 15th and they need your support unless you want to watch your taxes go up.  For those in Milton getting the free bus rides from Mattamy, well we kind of know how you will vote.  But who will pay the loan you have??


“Dear Fellow Halton Resident + CARP Member:

I need your assistance. Halton Regional staff have presented a plan to have development pay for growth. Staff report CS-49-09/PW-20-09/LPS80-09 outlining this plan is available on our website at http://www.halton.ca for your reference. This would mean that the development industry would pay for the cost for new roads, water and wastewater infrastructure in Halton Region to ensure that the cost of growth is not paid for by existing taxpayers.

I believe that our existing taxpayers should not be burdened with these growth related costs.

Lawyers representing some developers have argued that the developers should not pay for these costs, and that instead either taxpayers should pay or we should postpone building the roads that are required. I completely disagree.

The cost to the taxpayers if the developers get their way is a 6.1% increase on taxes and 6.1% increase on water rates.

These same developers have started a campaign to contact councillors to get them to postpone building the roads and or have the taxpayer of Halton subsidize their development that is required in our Region.

I would appreciate your assistance. If you agree with me that we should put the roads in place and that new growth should be paid for by the developers and not the existing taxpayers, please send me an email at gary.carr@halton.ca. I will pass it along to my Regional Councillor colleagues to ensure they are aware of your views on this issue before they vote on it in July. Please also pass this on to your family and friends living in Halton Region so they can email me as well.

Thank you for your help.


Gary Carr
Regional Chair

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  1. […] by admin on July 8, 2009 Mr. Gregoris states: “We do agree that home builders and new homebuyers should pay the full cost of growth and that existing taxpayers should NOT pay taxes to support growth and development. This is a fair and reasonable expectation. View original post here:  The Perfect Storm brewing in Halton thanks to Mattamy « Oakville Homes […]

    Pingback by The Perfect Storm brewing in Halton thanks to Mattamy « Oakville Homes — July 8, 2009 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  2. I’m afraid your history lesson may have left readers with the impression that we want existing taxpayers to pay for the cost of growth when nothing could be further from the truth: we believe existing taxpayers should NOT pay for the costs of growth and development. Using the example from 1973 is like comparing apples to oranges. As I noted in the comments section from your blog post of today (July 9, 2009), the claim that an additional $8,000 tax on new homes is required to pay for new infrastructure is unreasonable: plenty of municipalities have great roads and sewers and don’t have the highest new home taxes in North America.

    You speak about us wanting to drop the development charges, but this is also incorrect. Halton just increased their development charges. We’re not fighting those. What we’re fighting, is the unreasonable expectation that new homeowners should pay an additional $8,000 on those charges. This money is not a development charge. It’s a tax.

    Comment by Gary Gregoris — July 9, 2009 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

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