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Government and Politics

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority asks voters next week to renew a levy
Port is hoping for a levy comeback after last November's tax increase defeat

Kevin Niedermier
The Port of Cleveland
Courtesy of Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority
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The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will be on the ballot again next Tuesday. Last November, voters rejected a levy increase to 0.67 mills. This time, the port is asking voters to just renew the 0.13 mill operating levy that’s been in place since 1968.

LISTEN: The port and its levy push

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Issue 82 would cost residents $3.50 a year for every $100,000 in real estate value, the same rate as now. The levy would be in place for five years.

The chairman of the port's board, Mark Krantz, says the levy generates about a third of the facility’s $10 million annual budget. Besides bringing in iron ore and machinery for Northeast Ohio manufacturers, the port also issues bonds for projects ranging from the Rock Hall to the recent Cleveland Museum of Art’s expansion. Krantz says the levy would support next spring’s launch of a scheduled liner service.

“Just like an airline leaves out of an airport, we will now have a ship on a monthly or twice monthly basis, calling on the port and going back and forth between here and Europe. It will be bringing goods to the port and exporting products from Northeast Ohio manufacturers. And that’s really the piece that we’re missing now.”

The Port of Cleveland supports nearly 18,000 regional jobs, and generates an estimated $1.8 billion in yearly revenues. The levy shares November’s ballot with a county health and human services levy replacement that adds 1 mill to the current 2.9-mill levy. And with a Cleveland Metroparks levy renewal and additional tax that increases the rate to 2.7 mills.

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