Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 12/13/2007 - 17:41.

Cuyahoga County, Ohio, has been collecting a quarter percent more sales and use tax for almost 3 months now - since October 1, 2007.   Projected by Commissioners Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora at about one million per week, that extrapolates to about 11 million in the County coffers from the added sales tax.

I accompanied Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, (center with clip board above) a number of times as he collected signatures in order to allow a County wide referendum vote to determine if the voters would support such a tax.


The tax was falsely and flagrantly represented by Commissioners Hagan and Dimora and the Dirty Dealer to be set aside solely for a KennedyMartConcenter.  But that was not the language of the sales and use resolutions which were passed by Mr. Hagan and Mr. Dimora.  The language of the resolutions passed directs that the additional sales tax collected be deposited in the County’s “general fund”.  You can read the exact text of the sales tax resolution and the use tax resolution here, on Putitontheballot.com The Dirty Dealer never discussed this critical "general fund" language.


So, the additional sales tax is not set aside for a ConCenter, but is mingled directly in the general fund.


The pregnant question then is: Where is that money today?


I  have been thinking about Mr. Reed, because he has been arrested for sitting in his car with the engine running while he was allegedly intoxicated.  I don’t have any opinion on  that  arrest – other than to find it peculiar that one of the officers who arrested Mr. Reed was carrying a pocket audio recorder – a privately purchased recorder, not issued by the Cleveland City Police Department – a private recorder that the police officer, in the heat of the arrest, remembered to turn on so he could record Mr. Reed.


I also hear there were some “power people” in NEO – and some from the Cleveland Clinic - who were aggravated by Mr. Reed’s involvement in the referendum campaign.


And what I also can attest to is that I was impressed by the energy and straight talk and straight thinking of Mr. Reed while I was with him last summer. 


So now, rather than distance myself from Mr. Reed on account of his recent arrest, I want to put him back in the bright sunlight of last summer, when he worked the streets, and the news media, and the Burnham designed Mall, in order to carry out a vital democratic function – to let the people decide their own tax burden. 


I  believe Zack was one of the few Cleveland City Councilors who had the brains and the guts and the energy to represent his constituents well in seeking to put the sales tax increase on the ballot (where it would have failed to pass).


And since  you can't show me that the sales tax collected since October 1st, 2007 is set aside in a separate concenter escrow account, you may be beginning to agree with me.
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Update today on millions spent