Development charges: The case for and against
Development charges are currently being debated across Canada. Opponents of development charges argue that they should be restricted in order to spur the building of much-needed affordable housing. Proponents, on the other hand, make the case that development charges enable the municipal infrastructure required for new housing.
On November 14, 2023, two municipal finance experts explored these differing viewpoints on development charges.
Benjamin Dachis is Associate Vice President, Public Affairs for the C.D. Howe Institute. Benjamin started with the C.D. Howe Institute in 2006 as a Research Fellow and also has experience with major U.S. and U.K. think tanks. From 2018 to 2019, he was the Director of Policy, Budget and Fiscal Planning for the Premier of Ontario. He was part of the Ontario government’s leadership team in developing a number of policies, including the Housing Supply Action Plan, the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, and the 2019 Budget. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Regional Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Adam Found is a recognized expert in municipal finance who holds a PhD in economics from the University of Toronto and a Professional Land Economist designation from the Association of Ontario Land Economists. As Manager of Corporate Assets at the City of Kawartha Lakes, Adam oversees the City’s capital planning, capital budgeting, and development charges portfolios. Earlier this year, he was elected to serve as Vice President and President of the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association of Ontario for 2024 and 2025, respectively. He is also a Research Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute, a part-time faculty member at Trent University’s Department of Economics, and a public finance consultant specializing in municipal finance.
Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG). She is one of Canada's foremost experts on municipal finance and has been working in this field for over 40 years. She is respected nationally and internationally for her research on municipal finance and governance. Enid has written several books and articles on municipal fiscal health, property taxes, intergovernmental transfers, and municipal infrastructure finance. She consults with governments and agencies in Canada and around the world. Enid holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Toronto.