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December 13, 2012

You can do the math

Here is a nifty sounding new eatery:
Hali-Deli, loved by this review in the Chronicle-Herald

  • I can't get my wheelchair up the step
  • The tables inside are reported to be too closely spaced for wheelchair maneuvering (I wouldn't know, I can't get in)
  • There probably isn't an accessible washroom (ditto)
Yet another example of can't-do Halifax.

Leanne Hachey, Atlantic Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) , while complaining about high property taxes for business in HRM said in October:

"We believe there should be a connection between what you pay and what you get."

Here are some of the services taxpayers pay for businesses like Hali-Deli
  • Public Transportation
  • Police Protection
  • Fire Protection
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Permitting of all kinds
  • Snowplowing
  • Trash Collection

Here is what people using wheelchairs get at Hali-Deli:  Bupkus

To pay for municipal services, HRM will have property tax revenues of around $400 million, more or less evenly split between commercial and residential.  

Around 100,000 Nova Scotians had a mobility disability in 2001*.
Around half of Nova Scotians live in HRM
So 50,000 Haligonians can't use inaccessible businesses

To be fair according to Leanne Hachey's doctrine, their taxes shouldn't go to support businesses they can't use or be employed at.

Just as a guess, say 15% (too low?) of businesses are inaccessible.

So the property taxes paid by those 50,000 people should be reduced by the 15% and the lost revenue made up by the very same businesses.

50,000 Haligonians represent 10% of the population, and roughly $20,000,000 in residential property tax revenue (if they rent, the tax equivalent just gets passed along by the landlord)

15% of $20,000,000 is $3,000,000 or $60 to be refunded to each taxpayer with a mobility disability.  See this article about what $60 can buy.

Let the business community decide how to come up with the $3,000,000.

If 20% of business are inaccessible, the refund is $80 and business ponies up $4,000,000

25% (a more realistic figure), the refund is $100 and the bill is $5,000,000

Send the check to my home address.

Note to Mayor Savage:  Wouldn't it be easier just to require businesses to be accessible?  Hmmmmm.

Gus Reed

*the latest info from The Disabled Persons Commission

Got better numbers?  Let me know: wcreedh@gmail.com

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