Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today's Sin Tax Hearing Is Still On, Despite Cuyahoga County Offices Being Closed

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Expect more sin tax fun today.
  • ERIC SANDY/SCENE
  • Expect more sin tax fun today.
It's so cold that Cuyahoga County officials have shut down their work for the day. All offices are closed. But the sin tax circus must go on!

There's no time to waste in getting this measure forced through its mandated public hearings and onto the May ballot.

To recap, Cleveland's stellar sports teams - the Cavs, Indians, and Browns - are pushing for a 20-year extension on the sin tax. That's a tax on cigarettes and booze (read: SIN) countywide. The extension would garner some $325 million for stadium maintenance. Public officials have warned that if the tax isn't approved, the county's and the city of Cleveland's general funds will be ravaged in order to cover the terms of the stadium leases.

Roldo Bartimole, pictured at right giving County Council hell, points out that the myth of the "Holy Lease" is just that: a myth propagated this get this thing passed. (Bartimole goes back to the time when our "grand leaders" simply drew up a fresh lease with Gateway when the going got tough for the economic development corporation that oversees Progressive Field and the Q.)

The meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Justice Center. County Council is expected to vote on sending the extension request to the public during its 5 p.m. regular meeting.

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