Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Recind County Tax
Submitted by Roldo on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 15:40.
Finally, someone tells the County Commissioners that they owe the public some answers on the increased sales tax for the proposed medical mart and convention center.
Cleveland City Council members Brian Cummins and Zach Reed, as you can read below, are asking for the repeal of the quarter percent sales tax increase that the Commissioners - at least Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora - placed upon County taxpayers without consultation of those who pay the tab.
The "Put It On the Ballot" committee wants more public consultation about whether the plans are feasible.
I would disagree with the group's call for some reinstatement of the Convention Facilities Authority since it wasn't really dedicated to finding out if there should be a new convention center but merely was the Power Elites' method of pretending there had been a process, study and responsible determination. That never happened.
We don't need a new convention center, unless private business wishes to finance one.
The numerous facilities - Cleveland Convention Center, the I-X complex, the Wolstein Center and many other facilities that can accommodate meetings and conventions are more than adequate for the business here.
The following is the press release by the citizen group:
Put It On The Ballot
Citizen’s group calls for repeal of County sales tax, reinstatement of Convention Facility Authority, and transparent and collaborative process for planning and implementation of Medical Mart
News Release - March 6, 2008
Contact: Brian Cummins, http://www.putitontheballot.com/about
Put It On The Ballot calls on the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to repeal the sales tax passed for the convention facility, reinstate the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Convention Facility Authority (CFA), and provide a more open, collaborative and competitive process for planning and implementing a strategy for creating a Medical Mart.
If the additional .25% tax would be repealed as of July 2008 (the next available quarter a repeal could take effect) the county is estimated to collect $32,000,000 for the 9-month period October 2007 – June 2008. The county should retain this funding in a restricted account for purposes of utilizing the funding if and when the convention facility/medical mart negotiations are finalized. The County Commissioners should charge a newly constituted CFA to set a date certain for negotiations to be concluded. The more regionally representative and transparent CFA should be utilized to manage the planning and implementation of a convention facility/medical mart.
The County Commissioners should also develop and approve a plan for the re-allocation of the tax in the event a convention facility/medical mart is deemed not feasible. Previously the Commissioners have estimated that approximately $20 - $25 million of the estimated annual tax receipts of $43 million would be needed for convention facility/medical mart. Such a reallocation plan should take into account the continuing use of the existing convention facility as well as the priority needs of the county and municipalities that have contributed to this funding through the tax.
The tax is being collected under the County’s general fund and although the funding was intended and is earmarked for the convention facility/medical mart, the Commissioners decided to pass the .25% tax without a vote of the people. The commissioners used the State law that allows for a passage of a tax without a vote of the people as long as the additional revenue is used to provide funding for the County’s general fund. The State law provides for such a tax to be levied for the express purposes of a convention facilities authority, but in doing so would require a vote of the people.
The County Commissioners are called to take these actions to rebuild the trust of Cuyahoga County residents and to provide a more transparent, accountable, collaborative and competitive process for which a convention facility/medical mart can be supported by the public, realized and achieve success in providing economic development benefits to the region.
 Cleveland Medical Mart & Tradeshow Facility Paired with a new Cleveland Convention Center, July, 2007
 5739.026 County sales tax for specific purposes, sections A1 and A3.
Brian J. Cummins
Cleveland City Council - Ward 15
4483 Broadview Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Johanna V. Hamm
Cleveland City Council -Ward 15
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