Since amalgamation a lot of our energy and city budget has been used to plan and subsidize unsustainable suburban sprawl. The costs of sprawl are driving up taxes and consuming resources further reducing our ability to provide basic services like transit.
Halifax’s downtown is one of the largest contributors to HRM revenues, representing 18% of the property taxes raised by the municipality, yet the majority of spending by the municipality is concentrated outside of peninsular Halifax.
The HRM needs to ensure fair reinvestment of these tax dollars into the core. We can achieve this by:
- Increasing investment in transit, active transportation and the downtown core to a level that reflects the cores contribution to the HRMs tax base.
- Provide stable and predictable funding for sports, recreation, arts, culture and parks that is comparable to other similar sized municipalities across Canada.
- Work harder to attract and retain immigrants to our community and ensure that there are meaningful and fulfilling jobs when they get here.
- Implement the seven principles proposed by the Our HRM Alliance:
- Use green belting to concentrate growth and preserve natural areas and eco-services
- Invest in the downtown core and growth centres
- Prioritize and increase investment in transit and active transportation
- Adhere to residential growth targets
- Evaluate development charges to ensure that the municipality is not burdened by growth
- Protect water resources
- Commit to measuring successes and deficiencies of actions identified in the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy
Waye Mason has better ideas to grow Halifax sustainably.