Submitted by Roldo on Mon, 12/08/2008 - 15:48.


 We are too busy to remember that the taxes discussed below are relentlessly collected every day, hour and minute on required purchases by all of us. 

It’s time people begin to understand that as long as they are quiet, THEIR REPRESENTATIVES will think they don’t mind being taxed more and more.

No squeaky wheel, let’s hit them again, they seem to reason. And why not?

 With the economy tanking, with people being thrown out of jobs, with family incomes being depleted, isn’t it time that Cuyahoga County at least ended the quarter-percent sales tax the County Commissioners added for the elusive medical mart and convention center. 

People didn’t vote for an increase of the sales tax to 7.75 percent, the highest of any Ohio County. It was Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora who decided for them. Now, tell them to decide to eliminate the tax. It’s going to take a strong community reaction, similar to the sit-in workers at the Chicago factory, Republic Window and Door to get anyone’s attention. 

But Commissioner Tim Hagan has been the central figure in much of use of the sales tax for these corporate friends’ desires.  Here are the latest figures on sales (sin) taxes for the Browns stadium - $46,619,238 - from August 2005 until the end of November this year; and for the Arts & Culture tax $35,122,858, Feb. 2007 through November, 2008. 

That represents $81.7 million in regressive sales taxes, $45 million of it from smokers, known to be mostly lower income working people. 

How would it be if that tax money was in the hands of consumers who would be buying goods in Cuyahoga County, or possibly food for their children? Why is it that city, county and state officials can’t think of taxes other than sales taxes, which fall most heavily upon working families? 

By the way, the latest figures for the medical mart tax were not included in figures released to me. The medical mart tax will likely hit $40 million by year's end. With the above $81 million, we will have at least $125 million in EXTRA sales taxes paid by County residents. How nice!

Do you think that the Ronn Richards and the David Abbotts recommend luxury taxes or corporate taxes for all these doodads that they want? 

The game is fixed and unless there are people who are willing to demand that these changes, they won’t change.

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take back the tax?


You are so right. When are these guys gonna "give back"? Uh... I suspect as you do, never. They seem like reverse Robinhoods - take from the poor and give to the rich. I also heard Zack Reed suggest throwing tea into the harbor from the 9th Street Pier two years ago when we strove to "put it on the ballot". 

But the American Dream has got everyone kowtowed and nose to the grindstone - don't look up, don't speak up because you'll lose your shitty job. It is fearmongering and they're experts. But soon when there is no bread and when there are no jobs, the people, with time on their hands, will revolt; they will have nothing to lose, there can be no blood from a stone and we're turing to stone as I write. 

In a conversation last night, someone (I was telling him about the debacle of the medcon cause he's had his nose to the grindstone) said, they are not talking about the opportunity cost. In other words, what could we do with 40 million dollars a year besides build another mistake - this time on the river. Well, we, here at realneo, have talked about this opportunity cost, but I suggest we expand this discussion. Let's lay out some things we might do with that money that are not to use it to fill the bank accounts of MMPI and Forest City. Number one - give it back. Number two - give it to the least fortunate among us. Number three - give it to something that will move the county toward equity (like servicable public transit or water or home insulation, or your good idea here: ____ ). You get the picture. 

A friend of mine, choreographer, Liz Lerman made a dance back in the 1980s where she stated the price for a bomber in hamburgers. Could we translate 40 million into miles ridden per person on the RTA, meals served to the hungry, homes provided for the homeless, square feet of insulation in drafty homes and the energy saved, reduction of home heating cost by investing in cogeneration at CPP... I don't know. What do you think?

Here's one other thing I thought of as we were collecting signatures two summers ago: The buying craze is going to slow waaaay down. What then? What will their solution be if the quarter cent sales tax does not meet the medcon's need? Yep, I thought that, too. They'll just throw on another quarter cent increase, because now that we allowed them the crack, there is no Hans Brinker to hold his finger in the dike. As you note, this has been their modus operandi. I do feel for you Roldo as you have been saying for years "Help! There is a fire in the kitchen and I need help to extinguish it!" How difficult it is for you and for all of us to see the entire house burn down because no one heard you, listened to you or heeded that call.

So shall we try to define the opportunity cost? Shall we propose a "take back the tax" movement?

I'm for taking the tax back.

I'm for taking the tax back.

That means no new nonessential building will be built and as I've said before, at least two more buildings (a parking garage facility and a luxury hotel - both subsidized) will be unnecessary, and it will eliminate the subsidies needed to make up the losses of the convention center, new and old.

So you win three or four ways.