Jeff Rethink Your Position on PLJ

Submitted by Gloria Ferris on Thu, 08/02/2007 - 21:33.

I think that a real disservice is done when PLJ is painted with the same broad brush as those other two. Without Peter, there would be no referendum petition.  If the commissioners had voted unanimously to levy the sales tax we would not have had the opportunity we have today.  Therefore, Peter Lawson Jones is a key player in slowing this runaway train down so everyone can take a breather. I can only imagine the pressure exerted on him to change his vote so that we would not be pounding the pavement day after day getting more and more signatures and more and more support.  One of the biggest pluses has been the fact that the resolution states "general fund".  People stop and say, "wait a minute Jimmy Dimora PROMISED it was the Convention Center, but then, suddenly it goes into the general fund coffers.


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not a regressive tax!

The concept of interrupting the process, the referendum, is simply adding more process. 

The funds going into the general fund is were taxes go do you want them to create a convention center lock box?  Will the dollars still be dollars?  The amount of money will still be accountable as all the funds are; there is no corruption in the county books!  If corruption takes place, it is in kickbacks and tough to do these days. 


This agenda of disrupting the process and calling for more process all in the interests of the people is quintessential political bullshit.  


What is this?  The fastest quickest easiest way to get the job done is bad.  We are and have been analyzing the convention business for how long?  A way to get it done is runaway train now….hmmm, some people will do any thing to get involved even if it is only counterproductive and it is. 


Once the money begins to change hands it will be monitored, trust me, the FBI hands out indictment like parking tickets these days.  

I do not think anyone woke up one morning and said lets build a convention center, they decided enough already lets get the job done.   Getting anything to happen in this city has been equated to walking in quick sand, wonder why? 

I am not an economist

I am not an economist (Norm -- you want to weigh in here?), but according to the Wikipedia -- regressive tax.

    I think that Peter Lawson Jones effectively outlined other options for convention center funding and these options have been on the table for some time.

    Even Jimmy Dimora was ambivalent about this at one time: From a 2005 PD article

“State legislators passed a temporary penny sales tax increase two years ago. The increase is set to expire at the end of the month, although Ohio's new budget would immediately reinstate a half-cent of it.

    Cuyahoga County commissioners could vote to keep collecting some or all of the other half cent, which would generate up to $80 million a year for a convention center, economic development or other projects.

    Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, however, said such a move would be a sneaky thing to do to already tax-weary voters. "It's like you're trying to pull the wool over people's eyes," Dimora said. "I wouldn't be comfortable doing that. “ It was bad enough the state imposed it without a vote."

This "temporary tax" was imposed for two years. Why a quarter cent increase needs to go on for 20 years is questionable also because according to the spin, the economy will ramp up once the MedMart is here, so I am curious as to how long the tax really will need to be in effect. Additionally a value added tax might be a better option considering that we are the poorest city in the nation. Let the wealthy pay more with their discretionary spending. Or help the environment with tax collections by imposing a "plastax" as has been done in Ireland. I guess for Northeast Ohio, that might be considered to "progressive". At least in this scenario, poor people would have an option to carry their own reusable bags when shopping rather than pay the tax. As it is, they will have to pay the tax on the item they purchase -- bag or no bag - vote or no vote.

Already people in the City of Cleveland -- the poorest municipality in the region pay to support the region with their disproportionate subsidy of water infrastructure. Let's give the poor folks a break, not take more from them. Just exactly how much blood can you get from a stone? We may be on the verge of finding out. What will be interesting if this tax goes forward (and another three instances of this that our BOCC can impose) is how school, library and park levies will fare. Next up is a Port levy. I guess we'll see...

Primarily the folks I saw at the BOCC meetings that were for the tax increase were well-heeled and a large number of them work for the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now I can see how this would help and not hinder them. I am just not sure how this is going to help the server in the restaurant in Mentor or Elyria -- a person counted in the CVB's numbers of hospitality workers whose lives would be improved. I can see that if we make a huge shift in our economy to a service (instead of a knowledge) economy, we will be seeing plenty of Andy Stern here in the future.

So though you seem to be prepared to jump in with both feet on a wing and a prayer, I am not quite so eager. I still have many unanswered questions.

If the plan to build a convention center ends up siting it on the River to bolster Forest City's failed remake of a once great transit center, maybe you'd like to write the check for the suggested $40 million plus in air right alone. That would put us ahead in the project.

Have you found the number for the annual property tax to be paid by the MedMart when they decide to move here? I haven't. The properties at Tower City (MMPI has mentioned the Higbee Company Building) are not available at the County Auditor's website. The only parcel numbers I could find when I searched were the hotels.

and another thing on this tax

regarding the service economy and the knowledge economy from Callahan and Rokakis

Shell Game

Gloria--I signed the petition and I hope that the requisite number of residents (45,000?) also sign.  But, as the gentleman collecting the signatures at Steelyard pointed out (using an ironing board as a table--great improvise), Peter Lawson Jones is the only commissioner running for re-election.  I don't believe PLJ's intentions on the Breuer or the Medical Mart.  It's just political strategy to stay in office and a con worked out between all of the commissioners.  Our politicians switch hats so often, that I have given up on trusting any and all of them.