Hitting the front page on Feb. 25, 2015, Metrolinx is looking to sell real estate to pay for expansion, using a funding approach called “land-value-capture”, which has not been used widely in North America to date. “Land-value-capture” is explored in detail in this discussion paper, prepared for Metrolinx by George Hazel Consultancy in August 2013.
Are there “land-value-capture” methods that could create new revenue streams for public schools in Toronto?
Having just heard the term “land-value-capture” for the first time, I am certainly no expert! However, the premise of “land-value-capture” methods seems to be that improved transportation facilities increase the value of surrounding land, therefore a proportion of this additional wealth should go to funding the transportation facility.
Arguably, improved transportation facilities lead to new development, which leads to more children who will attend local public schools, therefore perhaps some of this additional wealth should go to funding repairs and improvements at local public schools, another integral part of our public infrastructure. Another argument is that good local public schools contribute to increased land value, therefore some of this additional wealth should go to funding repairs and improvements at local public schools.
More than $3-billion of outstanding repairs and maintenance across TDSB schools is a big problem. Maybe “land-value-capture” methods could be part of a big solution?