LWV endorses Cleveland Heights tax increase
To the Editor:
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Greater Cleveland has voted to endorse the quarter percent income tax increase that Cleveland Heights voters will consider on Election Day.
If you are a budget follower, you have probably noted that Cleveland Heights has kept its operating budget basically the same since 1998. It has become increasingly difficult to do this.
The state used to distribute a substantial portion of its tax revenues back to the municipalities in the form of local government funds. In recent years, however, the state has been keeping a larger and larger share of those funds in state coffers, forcing cities and towns to cut services or find other ways to pay for them.
Cleveland Heights has met this challenge admirably. For example, [its] service employees (the people who pick up trash and leaves, and plow streets) have added to their workloads to accomplish the same tasks with fewer workers. Administrative positions have been combined or left unfilled. Employees have gone without raises. The city can cut no more without residents noticing a decline in services.
In a residential community like Cleveland Heights, there is no industry and almost no space for new development; thus a tax base with little opportunity for growth. This places the tax burden squarely on us, the residents. If we want to keep our city a place [in which] we all choose to live, it is up to us to pay for it. In recognition of these realities, your local League of Women Voters urges you to vote yes, with us, for the Cleveland Heights tax increase.
Adele Cohn and Blanche Valancy
Adele Cohn and Blanche Valancy, co-chairs of the CH-UH Chapter of the LWV of Greater Cleveland