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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52 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim No Area rating should be left the way it is. Why should people pay for things they don't receive? In the case where they have Trans cab then they should pay for the service but beyond the Trans cab service, they should be exempt.
Eisenberger, Fred Yes Yes but I propose an urban-rural split to ensure rural areas that do not benefit from transit are not paying for it.
Gomes, Carlos Yes I'm completely against phasing out the area rating program for transit. How can we improve upon our transit if we don't know the problems
Graydon, Edward HC N/A No response provided
Pattison, Michael Yes It is not so much of; am I in favour of phasing out area rating for transit, as I am for proportionate representation. If any community areas are within a walking distance (10 mins) to a full service (every 30 minutes) bus route, then they should be paying equal and full taxation like everyone else in transit serviced Hamilton. On the flip side, I do believe all of Hamilton should be paying a percentage of transit. With the lowest percentage being 10% without any localized service. It would be more than fair to have un-serviced area transit monies being put into an open reserve for future services, added road repair and eventual growth of transit to the respected communities. We need to invest in One Hamilton.
Schmid-Jones, Ute Yes Area rating seems unsupportable in the long run, and it's hard to understand how one house in Hamilton paying twice as much for transit as another house across the street hasn't already gotten people engaged with the idea of doing something about it. Ideally, I would hope that harmonizing what people across the city are paying for transit services could go hand in hand with improving service in those areas, and that might go a long way towards getting people in the outer wards to buy in to the idea that improving transit really is something that benefits the entire city rather than being something that pits one ward against another.
Sgro, Vito N/A Please use our website vitosgroformayor.ca as the the answer to the provided questions.
Tavares, Ricky N/A How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi No I like to adjust the bus routine allocation resources to expand into rural community and all city facilities
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.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes Yes, I would like to see gradual tax increases over time to match rural population growth and increased transit to match that. More transit funding is also necessary.
Farr, Jason Yes Yes, as I have stated on public record at committee meetings, this is something we must address. I do believe we will finally put this to bed in the next term of council. It is only fair that all citizens pay equally for transit and we must budget accordingly. BLAST is not a pipe-dream, but a strong plan built on necessity and I strongly feel with major improvements, we will finally leap from stagnation in use of transit in Hamilton to a robust and widely used system. The ongoing increases in price of gas and parking will help too.
Kroetsch, Cameron Yes Yes, I support phasing out area rating for transit. In short, phasing out area rating for transit will help to better fund the entire transit system, equalize payment for this vital service across the entire City of Hamilton, improve service to underserviced areas, and provide new service to unserviced areas. Eliminating area rating for transit will move the burden to the City as a whole and not to individual wards, community groups, and residents who are currently forced to advocate and then pay for improvements to transit in urban areas that desperately need them.
Smith, Nicole Yes Without investing tax dollars in transit, we cannot improve it throughout the city.
Tennant, Mark Yes I do not support the area rating for transit that has different parts of the urbanized city pay a different tax rate determined by the service level they receive. Hamilton pays a higher transit area tax rate than Stoney Creek yet their service is provided directly to McMaster U. More kms, less tax. This is unfair. I support a single unified area rating for all urbanized parts of the city where the cost of service improvements is shared equally by everyone.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bureau, Alain Yes
Farr, Laura Yes Phasing out area rating for transit was supposed to be done. No one wants to see their property taxes go up. However, many in the rural areas would like bus service. We need to rip that bandaid off while being sensitive to the costs of doing so.
Kuruc, Ned Maybe I would consider supporting the phasing out of area rating for transit, when all areas have equal access to public transportation.
Nann, Nrinder Yes Yes, I support phasing out Area Rating.

It divides our city and locks us in a pre-amalgamation mindset. Not everyone lives and work in the same neighbourhood. Transit should therefore serve people's ability to move around the city seamlessly and be charged on an equal rate. This means creating a harmonized transit levy for the entire city.
Smith, Dan Yes Yes, it would help finance a better public transit system.
Sprague, Kristeen Yes I do support phasing this out if doing so improves access to transit for more riders.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes Yes, and I have been formally bringing the issue up for nearly two decades to no avail and I have a pending motion accordingly.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Maldonado, Juanita Yes Once a City Councillor is elected, they should not be assigned to a Ward. This will ensure that we can work together to do what’s best for the City overall. This would eliminate the territorialism and vote-trading that occurs. Area rating would not be an issue.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom Yes YES, I support phasing out A/R for transit, as I did for “recreation” and “fire services” since Amalgamation.
Taylor, Timothy Maybe I don't have a strong belief either way on area ratings. I do believe people shouldn't be paying larger taxes for services they aren't getting. I also understand this has created inequity on the way our transit planning has gone. I don't pretend to have an answer to this problem, and will make it one of my early goals to connect with the right people to have a better understanding of this issue.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Benson, Steve Yes Removing Area Rating will assist in creating more revenue which is needed to supply better service, purchase more busses, and help in providing more adequate working conditions for drivers, such as breaks required by law.
Kazubek, Joseph Yes I do support this topic, all ward should be tax equal, and support all service fairly. Up to this point, area rating funds have not been used for there intentionally purpose, if area rating is maintained, then we need to ensure funds are used appropriately.
MacIntyre, Dan Yes It’s a system that has existed for many years. It will not be as easy to do as many believe, but it should be done for the benefit of the city as a whole. We must ensure residents are educated on any changes to area rating, and communication isn’t an area where the City of Hamilton has thrived. At the very least, we need greater accountability for how this money is spent.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes I believe its time to abandon area rating in favour of a more equitable method of taxation and use the area rating money to expand transit service across the city.It has been almost 20 years since amalgamation and Hamiltonians are enjoying a tremendous amount of growth. Growth, however, has brought an increase in demand on our public services, including transit.

In our current situation, transit is woefully underfunded, and we need to get people where they want to go and be affordable. And we need more investment for quality improvements.
Pauls, Esther Yes Yes
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Danko, John-Paul Yes Area rating for transit is a long standing barrier to improving transit service to Hamilton's amalgamated communities. I support the immediate phase out of area rating for transit - along with an equal commitment to increasing transit service to those areas affected.
Wicken, Colleen No No but I do support dedicating a portion of area rating dollars to the betterment of transit as outlined above. I also feel that if each Councillor that receives area rating dollars dedicated 20% to Affordable housing and homelessness as well as another 5% to our food banks, we would make substantial progress in eliminating the extensive wait list and feeding our less fortunate.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beattie, Jeff Yes I think that our hodge-podge taxation system goes beyond just phasing out area rating. A comprehensive overhaul of the city's taxation system is needed.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Marley, Kevin Yes The exclusionary practices of Ward Area Rating must be abolished, and municipal services should be provided equitably to ALL wards in the city and taxed accordingly. We are all part of the city of Hamilton and it is time we started acting like it.
Scime, John Yes The short answer is Yes, but phased. I do believe in addressing the area rating in an urban/rural aspect whereby removing area rating for any urban designated area. The issue becomes the urban perimeters and how they are outlined. I believe that the rural areas should not incur transit tax levy until we are able to implement viable transit to those areas. This is why I have qualified the Yes.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes I believe we ought end the current practice of area rating and move towards a straight up urban-rural split. If your area receives transit, you pay the same tax rate (and fares) as everyone else in the city. That way, we all contribute to each other's transit improvements. However, if you do not receive transit nor ever will, then you ought pay nothing for transit.
Mitchell, Pamela N/A Declined to answer
Vanderbeek, Arlene No No, I do not. I think that, until such time as transit is equal, residents (Wards) who receive little to no transit should not pay for transit as if they had full service. Keeping in mind that the Ward 13 Councillor will now be representing a Ward that will be predominately rural with absolutely no transit.
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Iszkula, Robert Yes Yes, Area rating for transit needs to be phased out. Public transit is an indicator of a city's well being, and is part of a package that a city can use to attract new investment. We need to commit funding across all wards, because good transit not only helps those who ride it, but helps the rest of us by making our city a world class place to call home.
Whitehead, Terry Yes I have been very vocal on the issue of inequity of the outlying areas contribution to public transit. Public transit is a core service and it is a measurement of a robust, vibrant community; its level of funding is a measurement. If I was to make a comparison, education is a fundamental area of responsibility to all taxpayers. Even though seniors do not have children in the education system, they still pay education taxes. This is our acknowledgment on how important education is to society. I believe from a tax policy point of view, the same arguments could be made about public transit. This is not about whether you receive it or not, its about the commitment to public transit to meet the current and future needs of our community. Area rating on transit for urban areas must be eliminated.
Wilson, Bryan Yes I do support phasing out of area rating. And I know a lot of people will say they don't like that idea because now people are paying for something they aren't receiving. But they wont receive it unless it can be paid for and the only way to do that is to adequately fund it. I saw this happen as a small child growing up outside of Ottawa. We amalgamated and were forced to pay Ottawa taxes and guess what? We ended up getting a bus route 20 minutes out of town. It works.
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
McKechnie, Susan Maybe Area Rating related to transit has to be considered in light of the majestic geography that makes up Hamilton. Over 1,100 square kilometres defines us and most of this area is sparsely populated and will remain out of the reach of conventional public transit solutions.

Public Transit in its current form is simply something that can’t be made economically available to the overwhelming majority of the geography of Hamilton. It deserves special consideration.

This is not to suggest that the future leadership should do nothing. Transit solutions must be delivered. There must be an aim to deliver sensible transit services to key hubs across all wards in the city. There should be cost sharing as part of an overall strategy that brings the topic of transit into the conversation about tax equity across the city, for all residents. The facts are simple – Public transit routes will not be available to over 70% of the vast geography of the city. Unique rules will need to apply here. Today there is no transit option for young people or seniors to get from Carlisle, or Rockton, or Lynden, or Binbrook, or Waterdown etc. to McMaster or Mohawk for their studies, to the downtown area for their medical or hospital appointments. This needs to change.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

51 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Geissler, Henry
May, Todd
Rusich, George
Ryerson, Phil
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Lemma, Tony
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Ward 06
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Samuel, Vincent
Ward 15
Partridge, Judi