When GCP’s strategic plan, ForwardCLE, called for a better understanding of the region’s collective tax climate, GCP commissioned a study that analyzed our tax environment’s impact on growth and competitiveness. The study—released in late April—found a stark difference in Cleveland’s tax levels compared to other peer cities. In short, the local tax burden in our region is significantly higher than in similar benchmark cities—nearly forty percent higher than the average per capita tax collections.
A ballot-by-ballot approach to tax levies isn’t enough to create a positive environment for economic growth and inclusion—and our members are interested systemic solutions. As a result, the Advocacy team is examining potential paths forward for improvement, including structural reform or specific solutions that lay the foundation for future economic success and public services.
So far, the team has engaged over 40 community stakeholders and visited several cities that have experience in this space. In the last several weeks, members of the GCP Advocacy team met with leaders in Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, and St. Louis—each of which consolidated or attempted to consolidate portions of city and county government services to create environments ripe for strategic advancements while improving services for residents. With lessons learned from those visits in hand, GCP will continue to engage Northeast Ohioans even more broadly about shaping the future of our region through possible structural change.
To read past coverage about the tax study and potential reform, click here.