Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Mr. Rokakis, Ex County Treasurer - who bundled and sold 1000's of tax liens for <10% of face value to out of state "investors"
Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 18:14.
Mr. Rokakis, a tax earning double dipper living in the burbs, has some sage advice for those of us who pay taxes in the City of Cleveland - YOU MUST VOTE YES on 107!
When Mr. Rokakis was County Treasurer, Mr. Rokakis's tax lien sales drove thousands of people from their homes in Cleveland. Instead of offering to settle with the homeowner for 10% of the outstanding tax arrearage, Mr. Rokakis sold the lien to out of state investors who then swindled the home owner with exorbitant fees, evenually foreclosed when no more cash could be squeezed- and then the houses went vacant block upon block - with more fallout to come.
If anyone should be able to buy a tax lien at a discount, it should be the long standing owner/taxpayer - not an "investor" (Citi Bank, et al) who doesn't live in the house, and whose sole motivation is cash back quick.
Mr. Rokakis really screwed up Cleveland and Cuyahoga County - for pennies on the dollar. Social Equity was not in the Treasurer's vocabulary. And still isn't....
Now Mr. Rokakis has some advice for us. (I bet the editorial was written by someone (Maybe Joe Roman) other than Mr. Rokakis)
But read the comments to Mr. Rokakis's "editorial".
Predictably, Jim gets soundly hammered.
Cleveland voters must approve Issue 107: Jim Rokakis
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:10 PM Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:31 PM
By Plain Dealer guest columnist
The question of how to restore Cleveland real estate values in wake of the Great Recession is an issue that puzzles government, neighborhood, clergy and civic leaders -- and most of all homeowners who wonder if they will ever recapture the equity the foreclosure crisis has taken from them. There are no easy answers -- but there are some clues.
The one issue the city and county have focused on is the removal of thousands of vacant and vandalized structures that scar the city’s neighborhoods. Most of these structures will never be reoccupied – they have destroyed property values and are driving people out of the city. They also make neighborhoods less safe. Study after study makes that clear causal link. But there is another important consideration that serves to strengthen property values and that is the presence of a strong public school system. Ask any realtor who sells homes in Cuyahoga County whether a strong and stable school system adds value and they will tell you unequivocally that it does. They will tell you that buyers with school age children will pay a premium to live in a community with good schools.
I hear the skeptics now: “A strong public school system -- in the city of Cleveland? Are you kidding?” There has been a long, steady decline in the Cleveland public schools -- some would argue a decline that accelerated with the advent of school busing in September 1979. Within a few short years, thousands of families -- east and west -- pulled their children out of the public school system and sought alternative schools -- or more likely left the city altogether. The school population dropped from 120,000 to under 40,000 today.
The school desegregation order was implemented 33 years ago. The order is no longer in place. Neighborhood and alternative schools -- including innovative charter schools -- are restoring a sense of hope to those who believe in urban schools. While many neighborhoods are struggling, others, like North Collinwood, Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit Shoreway, Lee-Harvard, West Park, just to name a few, remain stable. Some are increasing in population. These communities are attracting young people because of their affordability, and the excitement they have generated through the arts and the nightlife they offer. But in order for these neighborhoods to retain these people once they have children, they must strengthen the schools as well,or these residents will leave when their children reach school age.
Strong schools cannot make it without proper funding. They must secure the necessary millage they need to accomplish these goals. A Plain Dealer story showed Cleveland homeowners pay the lowest percentage of property tax toward schools of all school districts in Cuyahoga County. A 14.9 mill request seems high, but given the average valuation of Cleveland homes, this will come out to a $220 average increase. If that $220 per year helps to restore $20,000, $30,000 or more of lost equity for Cleveland residents over the next five to 10 years, it will be the best deal homeowners in Cleveland ever made.
Some might believe that the school system's management has not always been up to the task, and those critics might be right. Next month, voters in Cleveland face a stark choice -- either invest in their city's schools or write off another generation of kids and perhaps the last chance to turn their neighborhoods around.
If Cleveland is going to do more than offer a place to gamble, a place to catch a game or see a show or drink a craft beer, it must restore the viability of the schools. It’s that simple. Jim Rokakis, former Cuyahoga County treasurer, is the director of the Thriving Communities Institute.
Ditto to all opposed to this issue.... why not just give the parents of each student the option to send their kids to private schools with that $15k per student allotment? Perhaps within a year---we'd have liquidated the CMSD drain on the public dole and a lot more students would have options that will provide quality educations.... Put the dollar to the test...intriguing...make our public schools compete against the private schools....then chat up a tax increase in about 5 years.
Mr. Rokasis sent his children to he schools in Rocky River.
It is disgusting that he is shilling for the county machine; for endearing himself to the broken government of Cleveland--a kind of government he helped create when he was a Cleveland City Councilman.
Like Cleveland City Hall, it is not more money that is needed, it is more talent and less bureaucracy; more honest work and less paper shuffling.
Well Jimmy, you may want to explain this to the fine citizens of Cleveland (who are already paying 15K per student for a sub par product).
Sure aint like the old days Jimmy when we were at dear old Rhodes High.
Here is another telltale sign Jimmy. The ratings of the one thru six grades are no better than the higher grades. You would think those grades would be getting more attention thus creating a good base.
Rokakis lived in Cleveland when he was an elected councilman. Once he became Treasurer he fled to the suburbs. In fact,he moved out 3 months after he left his council position.
This letter is nothing more than Rokakis' attempt to earn some support from the black community as he prepares to run against County Executive Ed Fitzgerald. We can do better than both of them!
Hey Jimbo: two things. 1. Move to Cleveland and then your opinion matters. 2. How would you like it if your real estate taxes doubled? Would you think that was as great a deal as it is when they double for the folks in Cleveland?
Typical liberal democrat: do as I say not as I do.
There is one good thing that I got from this yet another "the 50 percent increase in Cleveland school taxes must pass" article-- that is, I now know that I should vote against Jim Rokakis for any more elected political offices that he decides to run for.
After all, this unpersuasive article reveals that Jim Rokakis actually has the gall of telling voters what they MUST do.
Hey Mr. Rokakis:
You live in a $342,000 home in Rocky River.
Are you trying to have Clevelanders vote yes so our property values will increase? Is the issue not good enough on its own to merit the tax increase?
Umm, if we vote yes, it does NOT guarantee better schools, better students, or better teachers. It only guarantees that the schools get more money. Period.
Now, we are already paying $15,000 per student and you want us to pay more? Not a chance.
This reminds me of when Cleveland tears down the projects and then rebuilds them to the tune of $235,000 per unit. Only to tear them down again 10 years later because of the trash there.
Maybe cheaper to give the people a whole house and see if they can appreciate that- oh wait, then they would have to pay taxes, insurance, water, sewer and trash pick up fees. Sorry, silly me.
The problem here is too much giving by the taxpayers who work, and too much taking by those who do not. How about this for an idea?
Take responsibility for your own situation! If times are tough the government can help you out for 18 months. Food stamps and housing free for the first 6 months, then reduced by 50% for the next 6 months, then again for the last 6 months, and then all assistance cut off at the end of the 18 months. If you cannot turn it around in 18 months then you should leave the city and go elsewhere cause it's not working for you here. You would need to be a 5 year resident here before receiving anything - this keeps the drifting riff raff out. People might learn responsibility and have a chance at life.
Remember our government's admonition to not feed the animals in our National Parks because they will become too dependent on the food and no longer seek sustenance for themselves? Not when it is all being handed to them.
So thanks for letting me vent. I work hard, I pay taxes, I live in Cleveland, I refuse to send my children to Cleveland Public Schools, I love them too much.
Jim Rokakis is wrong about Cleveland voters must approve Issue 107.
After all, the Cleveland Municipal School District already spends far more per pupil than the average Ohio school district.
As a matter of fact, CMSD spends more than twice as much (over $15,000 per pupil) than the Avon Local School District (less than $7200 per pupil).
Yet the Cleveland Municipal School District is rated one of the worst school districts in the state, while the Avon Local School District has been rated excellent or excellent with distinction for the last 11 years.
The Cleveland Municipal School District doesn't really need an outrageous 50 percent increase in Cleveland school taxes.
Instead, it just wants to wallow in many more millions of dollars, so it can have more money to waste and spend.
What really needs to be done to improve the academic performance of CMSD students money can't buy anyway-- that is to get CMSD students to desire to do well academically and to get their parents to demand that they do the same.
Amen Jim Smith. And if NoBeuclid is correct that the current cost per student is $15,000, then perhaps its better to have a voucher program for most students and a much smaller public system for those children with truly special needs.
No one HAS to vote for anything, Mr Rokakis. $15,000 per year per student really should be enough, don't you think? Get real. NO ONE will move into Cleveland for the school system.
Mr. Rokakis, you intentionally fail to mention something extremely obvious, so I'll do it for the rest of the readers (although they are probably thinking the same thing). You are assuming this levy-generated revenue will be spent wisely and efficiently and actually make the schools better. Do you realize how big and how unlikely that assumption is? How long do we keep throwing more and more money into our educational system? There is a mountain of evidence that more funds does not equal better schools. It's really that simple.
"Cleveland voters must approve Issue 107..."
Not in this lifetime we won't.
It's time you libs, who don't live in the city, get used to the idea that Cleveland property owners intend to send CMSD into State receivership.
Public education is the responsibility of the State, not the property owners.
( categories: )