Area Rating Avoidance
When the City of Hamilton was amalgamated, it was decided by Council to find a way to even out tax rates across the evolving post-amalgamation city. Suburban wards started paying more taxes for some services, but Wards 1 through 8 were not given a corresponding tax cut. Instead, the extra taxpayer cash goes into an annual reserve dedicated exclusively to infrastructure within the old City of Hamilton. As a result, some services such as transit are not funded equally across the city.
Area ranking: Boring name, colourful history
By The Hamilton Spectator
Mon., Feb. 5, 2018
Some label it a political slush fund. Others call it a valuable weapon in the battle against ravaged roads and sidewalks in the old City of Hamilton. In Wards 1 and 2, it is celebrated as a rare example of direct democracy.The area rating special capital reinvestment reserve has a boring official name, but a colourful history.
Area Rating Keeps Us Divided
We cannot unite this city until we end area rating for transit and establish a single, unified funding policy across the urbanized area with service improvement costs and benefits shared equally by everyone.
By Ryan McGreal
Published February 13, 2015
A recent editorial in the Flamborough Review channels Abraham Lincoln’s famous 1858 House Divided speech, in which Lincoln argued that the United States could not endure as long as some of its citizens were free and others enslaved, to unpack Hamilton’s contentious local issue of area rating for transit. It’s audacious enough to frame area rating in the grandiose terms of freedom and slavery, but then the editorial manages to get the analogy exactly backward.
No changes to Hamilton transit area rating for 2020
Departures from status quo too late in budget season; councillors opt for more information
Feb 26, 2020 by Teviah Moro
City councillors have opted to wait for more information before making decisions about whether to change Hamilton’s area-rating system for transit.
Reports and recommendations crucial to the future shape of transit in Hamilton are pending, Coun. Chad Collins said Tuesday during a meeting of the subcommittee tasked with examining the politically charged taxation policy.
“My problem is looking at these in isolation,” Collins said.