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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keep Cleveland Strong: Vote No on Sin Tax Issue 7!

It is time for all hands on deck to beat Issue 7 the proposed Sin Tax extension!  

Not surprisingly, on the pro-Sin Tax side the corporate cabal that has been fleecing the residents of Cuyahoga County for far too long - the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) - has been running a constant campaign of misleading half truths and shameful scare tactics in the efforts to pass the Sin Tax.

Under the leadership of the same so-called corporate & elected leaders supporting the Sin Tax extension, the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County has continually rated in the top rankings of Worst City, Most Miserable City or Most Dangerous to live in the U.S. (201020112012 2013).  

And, I guess in trying to out do themselves being the 7th most financially distressed region in the U.S. for 2012 - the Cleveland/Cuyahoga area was rated the #1 Most Miserable City to live and one of the Worst Run Cities in the U.S. in 2014!

So as you see - while the pro-Sin Tax cabal has claimed the tag "Keep Cleveland Strong" it is clear this Cuyahoga County cadre of corporate clowns just want to "Keep Doing Cleveland Wrong!"

Why Should You Vote No on Issue 7?

If giving more money to the same corporate & elected leaders whose continued failed leadership earned us the above "stellar & cellar" rankings is not enough to Vote No on Issue 7 maybe how they are continuing to fleece the region for their pet projects will....

We still owe approximately $70 million on the Gateway bonds and will be paying those until 2023 to cover cost over runs in building Progressive Field & Quicken Loans Arena and to cover the poorly negotiated team leases.

The same Greater Cleveland Partnership fronted groups pushing for the Sin Tax are made up from the same corporate social club that pushed and received the forced sales tax increase for the Med Mart. In which we just paid another $3 million to part ways with the original developer MMPI.

And in the latest endeavor of feeding at the public trough is the proposed redesigning of Public Square at the cost of $60 million by Land Studios - another Greater Cleveland Partnership controlled front group.  

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have each pledged $10 million towards this project. That would be $20 million of your money! Forget about being responsible and using this money for their poorly negotiated leases, the Sin Tax or maybe important things like fixing our failing infrastructure & roads - we need more grass, green space and park benches! 

To summarize the Sin Tax -- 

The Sin Tax is set to expire in August 2015. 

Using their money & influence as the largest Chamber of Commerce in Ohio and one of the largest metropolitan chambers of commerce in the nation, the GCP had the GOP controlled Ohio Legislature add in a last minute provision to Governor Kasich's budget bill that would give Cuyahoga County the option to extend the Sin Tax beyond the scheduled 2015 expiration. 

Yes, the so-called "Party of Lower Taxes" controlling the Ohio legislature supported a tax extension. A better way of saying it is - the Ohio legislature dare not and know better than to defy the wishes of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.  

In conducting what amounted to nothing more than a dog & pony show for their pre-determined outcome and, without any meaningful discussions or consideration on alternative funding, the Cuyahoga County Council - doing their bidding for the GCP - immediately looked to your pocket book, and unanimously voted to put Issue 7 the Sin Tax extension on the upcoming May primary ballot.

To be clear with an indisputable fact - there was no need to immediately ask the voters to pay for the Sin Tax extension - there was plenty of time and it could have been put on the November 2014 or May 2015 ballot. And furthermore, there is no danger of losing our beloved sports teams should the Sin Tax extension be voted down.

If they wanted, the so-called corporate & elected "leaders" in Cuyahoga County had and still have more than enough time to explore alternative funding avenues for the Sin Tax.  

Without jeopardizing any funding or violating the leases, the Sin Tax extension could have been placed on the November 2014 or May 2015 ballot. Instead, and as usual in Cuyahoga County, they immediately look to the voters to support this "Billionaire Bailout" for the stadiums. 

By voting No on Issue 7 - it will simply force the so-called corporate & elected leaders to do their due diligence - which they did not do when the original leases were negotiated or now when they came straight to the voters asking for what amounts to a stimulus for the stadiums and/or a bailout for billionaires.

Most importantly voting No on Issue 7 will send a message that we the people of Cuyahoga County will no longer stand for the status quo that was supposed to have stopped with the Greater Cleveland Partnership pushed County Reform.

It is time to say enough is enough! 
Vote No on Issue 7!

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