During this election season, Clevelanders understand just how crucial the passage of Issue 32 is to the future of our region. If Issue 32 does not win approval from the voters the Cleveland Police Department, for example, recently cited that it will not be able to hire the officers the City needs. Cleveland is faced with a budget deficit going into 2017 and if the gap is not filled, Clevelanders will be forced to suffer through the consequences.
GCP business leaders became convinced of the importance of Issue 32 and formally supported the proposal because it would give our City the ability to enhance services, grow and develop our neighborhoods, and it will lessen the impact of other revenue cuts recently imposed on Cleveland.
Mayor Frank Jackson’s proposed 0.5% income tax increase (Issue 32) would be Cleveland’s first income tax increase since 1981 and it would:
• Eliminate city zoning codes that impede development and business growth.
• Improve trash collection, fix potholes, and enhance street sweeping.
• Aid in the inspection of buildings and homes with lead poisoning and the demolition of vacant dwellings.
• Allow the hiring of 120 Cleveland police department positions over the next four years.
• Enable the hiring of five Cleveland fire department personnel, 60 paramedics, and eight dispatchers.
• Improve security and programming at recreation centers for Cleveland’s youth.
• Support Cleveland’s seniors by increasing safety programming they can utilize at home.
• Allow mowing of vacant lots and clean-up illegal dumping of trash.
• Better coordinate initiatives that will curb and deter crime.
“The Greater Cleveland Partnership does not take tax increases lightly,” said Joe Roman President and CEO of the GCP. “Our support of this issue comes after lengthy review and analysis. We believe this issue will help to further energize Cleveland’s renaissance and will offer multiple benefits to people who live and/or work in the city, as well as those who visit. It will make Cleveland an even better city.”
City leaders have a strong track record managing the City budget – especially through the challenges of the late 2000s. The additional revenue (estimated at roughly $80 million annually) will ensure Cleveland remains structurally balanced and improves services desperately in need of additional resources—especially for public safety.
Improve safety in Cleveland. Keep services in Cleveland. Vote “Yes” on Issue 32.