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GCP supports income tax issue that will benefit those who live, work in Cleveland

Opposes separate initiatives that would threaten jobs in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Board of Directors has voted to support efforts to improve services for those living and working in Cleveland and to create a safer and more attractive city for frequent visitors through a ballot initiative that will raise the income tax by 0.50 percent.

The tax would help to grow and develop Cleveland neighborhoods by giving the city the ability to increase services on multiple levels including:
  • 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 GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “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 or work in the city, as well as those who visit. It will make Cleveland an even better city.”

GCP endorses renewal of CMSD operating levy

The business community also remains focused on efforts that responsibly raise skills and wages.

Therefore, the GCP has endorsed a four-year renewal of the 15-mill operating levy that supports the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) – with 1 mill set aside for partnering with high-quality charter schools.

Cleveland-only proposals would put city at an economic disadvantage

Alternatively, the GCP is opposing two separate issues – a Cleveland-only minimum wage increase and a Cleveland-only part-time workers’ initiative - that will hinder job creation, business growth and the overall momentum the City of Cleveland is now experiencing.

Members of the GCP vehemently oppose the minimum wage proposal—imported to Cleveland by the multi-state union Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH—and are urging Clevelanders to consider the unintended consequences of such a drastic and targeted increase to our minimum wage.

The Board does not philosophically object to minimum wage increases but has overall concerns with the comparative size of the proposed increase, the speedy timeline for implementation and how the effort singles out Cleveland, putting it at a disadvantage by making it less affordable than the rest of the state or other areas.

The part-time workers’ proposal is another misguided effort that aims to add a bevy of job-threatening regulations for businesses that employ part-time workers in the City of Cleveland.

Requirements placed upon employers only in Cleveland would give businesses in the city motivation to flee to the suburbs or beyond. It would also negatively affect new businesses from expanding or locating in Cleveland, and it would add a layer of costly bureaucracy to enforce the new regulations.

“Any objective review of this economically dangerous plan shows that it would make it much more difficult for businesses that employ part-time workers to function in Cleveland,” said Roman.

“The GCP supports fair and equitable pay for all employees, and job creation and retention in the city continues as one of our prime objectives. But an effort such as this would single out Cleveland, instantly making it a less desirable location for conducting business. This ill-conceived proposal threatens to kill jobs in the city.”

The GCP is working with city leaders, civic organizations and key stakeholders to build a diverse coalition in opposition to these two issues both brought to Cleveland by out-of-state interests.

The GCP wants employees in the city and throughout our region to earn fair wages,” Roman said. “But singling out Cleveland only for higher minimum wages and costly new part-time employee regulations would be an economic disaster for the city.

“It would force businesses to close and leave Cleveland. The city would lose jobs and tax revenues that pay for police, fire and other municipal services. Proposals like this must be considered on a statewide basis.

“Implementing such measures only in Cleveland would economically isolate the city. Employers and businesses would leave and avoid Cleveland.”

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The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region. www.gcpartnership.com.