Mayor fears tax hit from U.S. Steel changes
Mayor Bob Bratina hopes to meet with U.S. Steel by the end of the week to talk taxes and waterfront property in light of the company’s decision to permanently shutter its steel-making operations.
On Tuesday, the CEO of U.S. Steel announced plans to permanently cease iron and steel making at Hamilton Works, which had already been dormant for three years.
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Bratina worries this will mean a reduction in property taxes, which would be a heavy hit on the city’s budget. He also wants to discuss the company’s future plans for the waterfront land.
“I am trying to convene a meeting with senior management of U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh,” Bratina told CBC Hamilton.
The steel company's harbour lands land could be valuable in light of the city’s attempts to develop its waterfront, Bratina said. “It could be useful and we need to talk.”
And the loss of industrial assessment in recent years has cost the city millions. Bratina will meet with staff Wednesday to discuss the issue more.
U.S. Steel stopped its iron and steel making in late 2010. On Tuesday, Mario Longhi said in a conference call that it would halt steel and iron-making by Dec. 31. The announcement impacts 47 non-union workers.
About 600 workers remain at the plant, which does coke making and steel finishing, said Rolf Gerstenberger, head of United Steelworkers 1005. He does worry about the “warning bells” of U.S. Steel’s financial difficulties, which could impact about 8,000 pensioners from the Hamilton facility.