Sudbury’s construction business could take a hit if the city increases development charges, developers warned council Tuesday.

Ron Arnold, president of local real estate giant Dalron, said that because of a drop in home sales, his company is going through tough times including layoffs and some going without paycheques.

“What we do at our office is we share in the pain and I would challenge you to join in the hard times with us,” Arnold told Sudbury city council Tuesday night, asking that instead of killing development charges, they instead cut them in half.   

The city argues that what the builders call a tax is essential revenue for them and that the extra $4 million per year from the hike would go towards keeping Greater Sudbury running properly.

Local home builder Ken Kaltianien said the city’s being “near-sighted.”

“You guys are looking at numbers, I’m looking at jobs,” Kaltianien said. “What happens to my kids or grandkids?”

However, Naomi Grant, from the Coalition for a Livable Sudbury, urged the city to hike fees for development that encourages urban sprawl and adds to traffic congestion.