The push to increase Cleveland’s income tax by a half percent has gotten some strong backing. The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the area’s chamber of commerce, is endorsing the November ballot issue to raise the tax to 2.5 percent.
Last week the Partnership’s board voted to back the measure, saying it would make Cleveland safer, improve services, and make the city more attractive to visitors. In a written statement, the Partnership listed the ability to hire more police, increase building inspections, and improve street conditions as some of the benefits.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson proposed the tax hike, saying without it the city would have to reduce services and lay off employees because of dwindling tax revenues and less state and federal funding. The increase would generate about $80 million extra a year.
The partnership is also endorsing a levy renewal for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, which is also on November’s ballot. But, the group has come out against a grass-roots initiative to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, saying it would put Cleveland at an economic disadvantage.