You Keep Paying County Taxes

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 11:33.

To follow the jobs loss data, cited in item below, here’s a quick update on a couple of our onerous Cuyahoga County regressive taxes and what  they cost us monthly.

For your May payments, citizens & taxpayers, to support the Browns Stadium, used nearly exclusively (what 9 or 10 days a year) by the billionaire Lerner family, we paid $5,544,424 in May alone. Since switching the stadium "sin" taxes for the baseball field to the football field in August, 2005, we’ve paid a whopping $39,249,696. Always nice to help billionaires. The Lerner family pays a measily $250,000 in annual  rent and the city pays its insurance bill of some $125,000.

Here’s the May breakdown: Smokers paid $1.1 million; drinkers of alcohol, $2.09 million; Beer drinkers, $1.79 million; wine and mixed beverages, only $486,480.

Smokers contributed another $1.4 million to the new Arts & Culture Tax during May. For smokers it has cost since the start of the tax in February, $24.8 million. That’s a lot of loot up in smoke.

We don’t have monthly figures for the Commissioners’ added quarter percent imposed sale tax increase for the medical mart and convention center. However, since it is expected to raise $40 million a year, the monthly bill for Cuyahoga County taxpayers is about $3.3 million each and every month of the year.

Add it all up for May and the take, or shall we say the out-of-pocket costs for taxpayers, was slightly more than $10 million.

Now how do those unemployed people pay this burden?

I guess they cut down on their driving since gasoline is so expensive.

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how to protest

Before we inact the myth of the lemmings ("lemming suicide is a frequently-used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences."), how might we protest?

Remember turn on, tune in, drop out? What sort of protest might we inact to let our elected officals know that we are mad as hell, and we won't take it anymore? Stay home, unplug, don't smoke or drink?

I put my protests on REALNEO

I suppose putitontheballot was one effective protest we mounted... shouldn't that be active still!?!?

And certainly REALNEO is the longest running public occupation of the palace in the history of NEO... at least since Tom L. Johnson. So protest here and there, knowing it will be found, beautiful and relevant forever on realneo.

Disrupt IT

maybe this guy will protest on realneo

This news today Gene Tracy retires from Cleveland Schools and plans to "take off the gloves". As he spoke at a public meeting pre 2004 school levy, reports of his two minutes at the microphone sound familiar.

"Citizen activist Gene Tracy called on the Board of Education to make Cleveland ’s corporate citizens and wealthier citizens pay their fair share before going to the taxpayers of the poorest city in the nation for funds. He noted that the owners of the Cleveland Browns are receiving a tax abatement for the stadium. He said the district should ask MBNA to pay $2 million a year for its advertisement on the stadium in exchange for the tax abatement. He said if Browns’ owners were able to give a $16.5 million signing bonus to Kelvin Winslow, they should be able to come up with $2 million a year for the schools.

Tracy urged the board to support Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis’ effort to get the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to voluntarily pay property tax (they currently claim an exemption for providing indigent care as non-profit hospitals). Tracy also noted a recent Plain Dealer article that points out the $17 million a year of the school district’s money that the city of Cleveland has given away in business and residential tax abatements.

Tracy said that passage of the levy means that senior citizens may have to go without food or prescription drugs to pay their taxes. “Before I would go to them, I would make sure our corporations pay their fair share,” said Tracy."

from Proposed levy expenditures outlined at Cleveland Board of Education meeting
by Chuck Hoven the Plain Press (November 2004)

I find this tidbit disturbing (from the PD account)

"Tracy is a throwback to the anti-establishment 1960s, says Lincoln-West Principal Edward Muffett. But while the teacher's protests have won concessions, Muffett believes Tracy is not as effective as he could be.

"His style gets in the way of what he's pushing," Muffett said."

Haven't we learned yet - don't judge a book by its cover? Are we still stuck in "don't listen to what that guy is saying - he looks culturally aberrant?

Union organizer and membership chairman of the Ohio Citizen's for the Arts for decades - Ben Shouse (RIP) looked like an unlikely candidate when I first was introduced to him in the early 80s, too. By then he was elderly, but he had had his days of being a rough rider - organizing union matters (upholsterer's union). When we met, he was sweating along with the rest of us at a Sam Shepard play in a sweltering Cleveland Public Theatre. I soon learned that although Ben looked unlikely (sort of like an overweight throwback to Guy Noir sporting a shiny suit), he was the guy who drove the effort to fund the lobbyists who extract arts and culture funding from the state. We paid our dues to the OCA. If you didn't you could be sure Ben knew - and he knew who had paid and who hadn't right up to the day he died. He was a tireless advocate for the power of the arts to revitalize, bridge and bond communities. Ben may have been a bit disheveled and his suits were shiny (especially where the OCA membership cards had impressed themselves through the breast pocket of them), but he was right. He's still right.

I liked Tracy's response to concerns expressed that he might have lost his job for speaking out. He said, "I always speak the truth," he said. "That's what protects me."

Let's move beyond looks and get to the grit.

God dam the anti-establishment 1960s

I wonder if Lincoln-West Principal Edward Muffett is as unappreciative of social progress that resulted from the anti-establishment 1960s, like pursuit of equal rights and equity for all races and classes, which has largely failed at the hands of the establishment, apparently like himself

God I wish to live in a time like the anti-establishment 1960s...

I often wonder how the youth of those days feel now that they are seniors, reflecting about the world they created for the establishment, as it crumbles. I believe my parents are increasingly ashamed, and would love to have a second chance to challenge the establishment. For example, they are voting for Obama.

I'd love to see a bio of Lincoln-West Principal Edward Muffett to see what establishes his belief system, as he appears short-sighted or ignorant, as his words and the Plain Dealer well demonstrate. And the website for his school has not been updated since 08/22/03, which is grounds for dismissal, if you ask me.

From the much appreciated pro-society words of Gene Tracy, "I always speak the truth," he said. "That's what protects me."

Novel idea.

Gene, you are welcome and encouraged in the anti-establishment world of the REAL NEO.

Disrupt IT

God bless the estabishment, and gas masks

Today, from NOACA, ongoing confirmation of what will be a very unhealthy Summer in NEO, compliments of those of The Establishment" of NEO, probably meaning YOU...

Air Quality Advisory Extended for Northeast Ohio
Saturday, June 7th, and Sunday, June 8th, 2008 - Fine Particle "Soot" Pollution and Ground-level Ozone

Northeast Ohio - An Air Quality Advisory has been extended for the counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit.
High humidity and high temperatures will contribute to the formation of fine particle pollution and ground-level ozone.
Fine particles are microscopic bits of pollution from cars, trucks, industrial emssions and other sources. These tiny particles are difficult to clear from the lungs. Ground-level ozone is created when chemical vapors, gasoline vapors, and exhausts are mixed with sunlight.
This Air Quality Advisory has been issued because pollution levels are forecasted to be  "unhealthy for sensitive groups." "Sensitive groups" including children, the elderly, and people with respiratory issues should limit their exposure to outdoor air this weekend.
This pollution episode may continue through the beginning of next week so please plan an alternative commute for Monday and Tuesday:
Carpool or find a bike buddy at
Ride the bus or rail.
Avoid unnessesary trips.
Avoid using diesel equipment.
Do not idle your car.

 Bike Winner
Winner Announced for NOACA's Air Quality Programs' Ozone Season Kick-off Bike Contest!
David Fearn, a Cleveland Heights resident and new Air Quality Programs participant, was the winner of the Mojave 2.0 mountain bike. Congratulations, David!
"Check Today's Air Quality" at because conditions change frequently.
In Cuyahoga County, you can also call the City of Cleveland's Air Quality Index Line: 216-441-7474

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), in partnership with the Ohio EPA, the Cleveland Division of Air Quality, the Akron Regional Air Quality Management District, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, the Lake County General Health District, and Sonoma Technology, Inc., has issued this "Air Quality Advisory."  See for more.


Amy Wainright
Environmental Planner
216.241.2414 ext. 252eawainright [at] mpo [dot] noaca [dot] org
awainright [at] mpo [dot] noaca [dot] org

Amy Coursen
Air Quality Programs
216.241.2414 ext.373
acoursen [at] mpo [dot] noaca [dot] org

Disrupt IT

Check the fence

Hey, let's check the fence!  The joke never gets old...does it!

The joke never gets old...

A year ago the County and their hired guns were planning to demolish the Breuer - Cleveland leaders including most in our media declared it ugly, obsolete, etc... and now it will be an Intercontinental boutique hotel.

Such NEO jokes are way old.

Disrupt IT

"submitted comments"

I always "check the fence" when you post this, Laura just to see if any of the content has changed since I last "checked the fence". Sigh... the comments are still blank and the front page is still giving the history of the department of workforce development. Are we still stuck in OCT07? Uh... is this supposed to be where the three guys in the upper righthand corner of the page blog or something? They seem to be talkking about construction barriers and getting the message out, but no signs were on "the fence" when I drove by today. Plus (Cleveland +?) someone should tell those guys that web content needs to be kept live if they expect to drive traffic. It'll be really funny when the Euclid Corridor is done and this is still up there. The county needs to "check the fence".