Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tax value

This piece in the Globe today by a Toronto architect, Jack Diamond is worth a read because it's the kind of case that's not often made these days for what's needed to build and keep the Canada we enjoy living in. It's about cities and the elements that sustain them. But it's also about how we pay for that and the need to have political leadership that understands how all these elements interrelate. This excerpt in particular stood out:
Most residents are not opposed to taxes in order to preserve the services citizens need and expect in a civil society. These also happen to be the services that attract investment, provide physical and social connectivity, and ensure environmental sustainability.

It’s not tax cuts that respect taxpayer values, but respect for tax value.

In Toronto’s case, the business-minded mayor needs to be reminded that there are two sides to a ledger – expenses and revenue.
With emphasis on that middle part: "It's not tax cuts that respect taxpayer values, but respect for tax value." It seems to be a little awkwardly phrased but not a bad way of putting it. The important point is the "respect for tax value" leg of the equation, the need to inculcate more respect and support for tax value. In other words, let's take the argument beyond ourselves and toward the infrastructure our taxes support (the transportation, housing, low crime rate, entertainment venues, etc.). The focus on Toronto libraries has been a good recent example of that.

That's the nice version of the argument today. Here's another must read, along similar lines, on taxes and what kind of cities we're living in, emanating out of the Montreal tunnel disaster that happened on the weekend: "La bullshit de Sam Hamad."