There was a lot to discuss during GCP President and CEO Joe Roman’s May appearance on WTAM with host Bill Wills.
GCP recently commissioned a tax study that looked at the region and the collective tax climate, which did not reflect well on how our governments are set up. The differential between local taxes here and our peer cities and the counties around us was very concerning. The study concluded that we are not going to be able to get to some solutions about this and remain a competitive city if we deal with it on a one-off basis. We think systemic changes are possible but we need the whole community to get involved in identifying changes. We will be going on a listening tour and getting people involved in a coalition to help drive changes. We can’t have a declining population and remain competitive.
Another interview topic included Opportunity Zones, a federal tax program that is an investment in certain neighborhoods. We are enticing them to invest this money in Cleveland neighborhoods who need the help. White house staff visited Cleveland last week and GCP leaders took them on a tour of the zones the city hopes to build up. The white house staff met a lot of people that day and they appreciated the partnership of people behind these opportunity zones.
Joe and Bill also talked about how the Opportunity Corridor will open in two to three years, and that the GCP June 10 Annual Meeting will take place at NASA Glenn, an unsung hero of our town that has never received the attention it deserves. And finally, they talked about Cleveland Chain Reaction, a pitch competition focused on the neighborhoods of Cleveland. This year the program is focusing on Collinwood, with the business that wins the competition locating in that neighborhood.