Tax Production Study

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 In Audio Education & Training Latest Updates Research Reports

The Chamber’s Renew Hamilton Project has teamed up with the Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects to test support for a study to better understand the long term financial impact of development patterns citywide. The intent is to measure property tax revenues on a per hectare basis across different landscapes (urban, suburban and rural) and building forms (detached residential, multi-storey mixed use, big box retail, etc.). The goal is to assemble data on how various land use and growth decisions routinely lead to different municipal tax performance outcomes.

“As a growing city with fiscal challenges, it’s important that we embrace opportunities for compact development that maximize municipal tax revenues and minimize costs for public infrastructure and services,” said Hamilton Chamber president and CEO Keanin Loomis. “This is a highly effective way to boost funds to invest in modern quality of life amenities Hamilton needs to compete as a community of choice.”

The proposed study would entail engaging Urban3, a consulting firm specializing in land value economics, property tax analysis and community design that promotes fiscal health and quality of place. The company — which is headed by Joe Minicozzi (pictured), a Harvard educated urban designer — utilizes a proprietary computer modeling methodology to create 3D maps used to communicate complex information through easy to understand visualizations. Cities large and small across North America — including Guelph, Ontario — have applied these maps to engage stakeholders, stimulate dialogue and effect change.

For Hamilton, the focus would be on comparing and contrasting numerous downtown centres and surrounding areas ranging from Dundas and Stoney Creek to Waterdown and Ancaster, to name a few. It is hoped that the data, gathered in cooperation with the City of Hamilton, would provide another plank to inform discussions on how and where we wish to grow as a city.

“Our members are keen to support third party research that can be applied to the design of sustainable, people-centred communities,” said Graham McNally, chair of the Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects (HBSA). “We think the time is right to generate and share quantitative information that measures how well we’re utilizing a finite resource — land.”

HBSA hosted a community event in 2014 that provided an opportunity for Joe Minicozzi to showcase the Urban3 model. “People were excited to learn about the economics of land use planning,” recalls McNally. “Now it’s time to run the numbers on Hamilton.”

To learn more about this project and partnership opportunities, contact Richard Allen at or 905-572-0363. 

LISTEN NOW to Joe Minicozzi’s 2014 Presentation in Hamilton