Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
County Bond Rating & Taxes
Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 21:22.
Peter Lawson Jones did a good job on Bob Conklin’s “In the Spotlight” TV talk show on Ch. 15 within the hour.
He appeared without his Republican opponent for County Commissioner who apparently ducked the questioning, and who also didn’t send a surrogate, according to Conklin.
However, Jones made a statement defending the County Commissioners and County government that I don’t think stands up to scrutiny.
He claimed that the fact that Cuyahoga County has the 2nd highest bond rating of Ohio Counties proves that the County is well run. It was a response to the Plain Dealer complaints about the County and the need for reform.
Not so fast, Jones.
The reason the bond rating is good is likely more related to the high taxes continually assessed County residents to cover bonds, including the latest quarter-percent (which Jones didn’t vote for) added by Commissioners Tim Hagan – up for re-election but unchallenged – and Jimmy Dimora to pay potential bond costs for the proposed Medical Mart and Convention Center.
Bondholders are protected but the taxpayers are not.
When the County has the highest sales tax of any county in the state by at least one percent at 7.75 percent, and where it has been collecting a hefty “sin” tax for bonds let for Gateway and Browns Stadium that will last 25 years and and just added a new cigarette tax that covers art grants, one can hardly brag about a good bond rating.
The County is a haven for regressive taxation.
The bond rating outfits on Wall Street look to the heavy taxes as good since they covers bondholders’ payments. That doesn’t say much about the money being squeezed out of Cuyahoga County residents. Particulrly galling is the fact that many outside Cuyahoga County enjoy the benefits but pay little of the costs.
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