Oakville Homes

August 25, 2011

Hallelujah – Oakville Homes back on line – Development Charges an election issue?

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“I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.” **

First off, I’d like to thank WordPress.com for their support and understanding.  After a temporary shutdown to ascertain the facts, WordPress has reinstated my ability to post on this site.  I can understand their wanting to know all the facts before making a final decision and, once confronted with the facts, they made a decision to support the right to “Freedom of Speech”.  As a writer, I am aware that this sacred right depends on one ensuring that all facts are ‘TRUE” and that defamation and slander are not allowed.

One thing I have made clear with the Mattamy lawyer – if at any time Mattamy has an issue with what I wrote and can show it is in fact “NOT TRUE”,  they can contact me and, if right, I will remove the offending part and make an apology.  Maybe making an apology is something they are not familiar with.  I know they have been aware of this blog for some time and up to now, have not made any comments to have stuff withdrawn.  They have given a different viewpoint of the facts and, I have left that on my blog for readers to compare.  Mattamy must realize that as long as my FACTS are correct, then my OPINION is my own and I may state it.  They have their own opinion in terms of quality and they expect homeowners to follow that, so, I would think they would respect my opinion.  Obviously with the notice given me and WordPress, they do not respect freedom of speech and the right to express one’s qualified opinion but rely on heavy-handed “threatening???” letters from a Bay Street lawyer.  If Mattamy closes down this blog, then they are winning a battle that will diminish the rights and freedom of those wanting to tell their side of the story.  The Press doesn’t always do that, especially if it involves their advertisers.  WordPress and other blog allow this.  Again, thank you WordPress for allowing us to experience this freedom.

And, now to today’s blog, a few days late due to circumstances beyond my control.

There must be an election coming up soon.  The anti-Development Charge (DC) whiners are beginning their campaign to have DCs diminished.  In the Toronto Star (August 20) Stephen Dupuis ( President & CEO of BILD) puts forward a well documented argument that in some areas the DCs are too high and thus impact on affordable home ownership ( 7 to 10% of home price).  He mentions that all taxes and charges come to about 20% of the total.  I hate to say it but, you pays it now or you pays it later as a taxpayer.  Myself, I’d rather pay it up front instead of a lasting legacy in my yearly tax bill.  Although I guess one could argue that it would be shared with a multitude of others but is that fair.  I mean, the Milton developers profited with the taxpayer supported construction of the water line to Milton – something we all know we are still paying for.

Like a recurring STD.

Now, this can’t be all bad.  I mean, the developers are a group of people who have accumulated wealth through development to the tune of some being billionaires.  So, I can’t really see the DC’s being a problem for them.  Over time, the taxpayer has paid for the infrastructure and continue to pay taxes for maintenance.  Why would the developers feel that it was necessary to burden them with more taxes to pay for something they are initiating.  Why would they not feel that the newcomer should pay their way into the community.  Much like a golf club who charges an initiation fee.  Do developers complain about people having to pay initiation fees to get into their exclusive golf clubs.  I think they see it as a way to keep out the low-end riff-raff, otherwise we’d all be playing at Glen Abbey.

Now, once their home is paid for and the initial development costs paid for, they join the larger group of taxpayers who all share in the continuation of maintenance on all infrastructure.  Now, that seems fair.  You see, I accept the fact that my taxes will go up over time to pay for the ever-increasing infrastructure.  Taxes that will go up faster due to the growth.  If the community maintained it size, my taxes would only go up to cover inflation etc to maintain the already in place infrastructure.  Developers bring new costs to the table.  So, DCs are only fair to ensure the initial hurt of infrastructure cost of new building is absorbed by those causing the growth.

So, with the Ontario provincial election coming up, it will be nice to see just where the developer’s donation money will go.  Liberal, Conservative or NDP (or other?) – who gets what?  Now, I don’t think I can sway the government with my $200 donation but when a developer goes into the thousands, just what can they expect for that money?  Why would any developer give thousands to a candidate when it is perfectly acceptable for little guys like me to give hundreds?  Is there an expectation of return on the money?

To date, both McGuinty and Hudak have not responded to any of my queries in regards to their thoughts on the Development Charges.  Why is that?  They either support or not support the concept and they either support status quo, a rise or lowering of the fee schedule.  Simple question that deserves a simple answer unless, there is more to be seen by those donating and how much.

When both candidates (actually, their workers) call me for support, they won’t tell me or say they will pass my question on.  I guess it is too delicate an issue and is too tied into donations.

So, one way for your taxes to go up is to see a lowering of the Development Charges.  Find out how each candidate feels on the matter.

If you don’t, don’t cry when your taxes go up while the developer’s wealth goes up as well.  They’ve done quite nicely so far.

** My thanks to Leonard Cohen – “Hallelujah”

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

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