Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not?"

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10 Candidate Responses (top)

Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes I support phasing out Area Rating for Transit, but not doing away with Area Rating altogether. While the transit portion of Area Rating has been a huge impediment to extending transit across the city, Ward 1 depends on the Area Rating program in general to help with the upkeep of our much older infrastructure. In the end though, Council needs to keep its promise to transit riders and honour the commitments of the 10 year plan. Hamilton likes to compare our ridershiop trends to cities like Brampton and even London, but it’s not secret that those cities’ successes have depended on heavy investment in Transit by the municipalities.
Anderson, Sharon Maybe Yes and no. I do not think that there should be a different rate for the different urban areas in Hamilton. It is unrealistic to expect only certain areas of the City to support only certain services. However, I do not necessarily see that the full rural areas should be paying for transit unless the service is provided in their area. In theory the differing levels of service in urban vs rural should already be reflected in the different tax rates by property class. If the wish is to maintain the area rating model with different rates for transit in the different urban areas then I would propose that we should also introduce an area rating charge to other City services. I expect that the areas paying the higher charges for other services would be those currently paying the lowest charges for transit.
Cole, Sharon Yes I do. I believe services like HSR have been underfunded and negatively impacted by that underfunding, primarily related to the inequitable fiscal challenges of Ward Area Rating. As we move into initiatives such as LRT and further integration of rapid transit solutions and associated infrastructure development, it will be imperative for the City as a whole to comprehensively and equitably support these evolving fiscal needs which will benefit the City as a whole.
Eroglu, Ela Yes Ward Area Rating must be abolished. All wards should pay the same rate for services. Every property owner utilizes City services differently. You, at some point, will be paying for services you don’t want, don’t need, don’t use or don’t have close access to. However, the point of these services is not to make every person always need to use them. We live in a community where people of all needs and necessities exist. Living in a community also means that we take care of other people whenever the means are there. This is because communities thrive when every member of society thrives. For example, many people do not have children, and most people do not often need to visit the hospital; however, they still pay the taxes that fund the education and healthcare system. The purpose of these services is to make sure that everyone in society is able to pursue their interests to the best of their abilities. The more people achieve success in a society, the better society does as a whole. Therefore, no matter where you live, municipal services should be provided equitably to all wards in the city and taxed accordingly. We are all one City.
Geffros, Sophie Yes As stated above, we are in dire need of significant capital investment in order to improve our public transit, particularly outside of the lower city and along North-South lines. In order to increase the funding available for HSR, we must end area rating. It is an inequitable holdover from amalgamation, and unfairly raises the tax burden of the lower city while starving the transit service in the upper city. I also reject the idea that ending area rating should be revenue-neutral: instead, over a process of several years, the tax burden of the upper city and suburban areas should be brought in line with what is currently paid in the lower city.
Massie, Richard Yes Yes, eliminate area rating to provide the funding for fair accessibility for everyone including expansion of service to rural and suburban residents.
Miklos, Lyla Yes As an education worker with the HWDSB I have often hit a barrier being a non-driver that takes public transit to get around the city. There are many work locations that I simply can not even consider a job placement at because there is no access to them as there is no public transit to that location. Phasing out area rating would be one solution to that problem.
Narducci, Linda Yes Yes I do. Ward 1 is one of the hardest hit areas with the area rating for transit. That aside, and in light of the LRT (and B.L.A.S.T) every corner of Hamilton will benefit from this improved transit system and the transit tax should reflect this fairness. Hamilton is the only city in Ontario that continues to charge residents a different tax rate for transit, depending on where you live in the city.
White, Harrison Yes I believe that area rating is a difficult subject. While it has provided some benefits to wards 1-8, it is overall unfair. I personally would like to see the transit levy through area rating reduced to a more realistic level. A yearly partial increase of the transit levee over a five-year time-period until the suburbs are paying, preferably, 50-75% of what Wards 1-8 are paying. I would like to see the remainder continue to go into an infrastructure fund, with penalties for councillors who spend it on anything other than exactly that. I would like to see council clearly define what infrastructure is considered to avoid the misappropriation of funds, like has been done year in and out. I believe this is a compromise that will satisfy both those in Wards 1-8 and those who have lesser transit service.
Wilson, Maureen Yes Yes. Area rating stands in the way of providing better transit for the entire city and it is patently unfair to have urban residents in different part of the city paying substantially different rates in support of public transit.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

3 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.