Does Anyone Pity Smokers?

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 14:53.

Pity the poor smokers.

The latest calculations out of County Auditor Frank Russo’s office show that cigarette smokers have contributed $28 million to the Arts & Culture Tax (at least this one was voted upon). That’s since February. And that's a lot of money.

Smokers also have contributed another $10 million since the start of the shift in the so-called “Sin tax” for Gateway to pay for Browns Stadium. That is since 2005.

That’s $38 million. It should be enough to help smokers stop. However, addictive substances in tobacco hook people. It isn’t easy to break this addiction.

To date, Cuyahoga County residents (only ones upon whom these taxes are levied) have contributed $29,577,139.86 (including interest income) to the Arts & Culture tax. 


The Gateway “sin” tax, now applied for 10 extra years to the Browns Stadium, has cost taxpayers for cigarettes, alcohol, beer and wine $41,918,290.

I have been keeping up with these costs as, I guess, a public service.
You would never expect the Plain Dealer to provide such information on any kind of a regular basis.

I don’t know who will tell Cuyahoga County taxpayers how much they are contributing to the convention business once bonds are let for it and the medical mart.

They will be significant, however.

To end on an amusing, if not laughable, note, I list the members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Site Selection Committee. You can decide whether your interests were in any way any consideration in the choice of Forest City’s $40-million site for the convention center. Here they are:

- Christopher Connor, CEO, Sherwin-Williams.
- Alexander Cutler, CEO, Eaton Corp.
- David Daberko, former CEO, National City Bank.
- Andrew Jackson, Senior VP, GCP.
- Henry Meyer III, CEO, KeyCorp.
- Fredrick Nance, regional managing partner, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.
- Tim Reynolds, President, Tribute Inc.
- Dennis Roche, President, Positively Cleveland (oh, yeah).
- Joe Roman, CEO, GCP (Ohhhh).
- Jerry Sue Thornton, President, Cuyahoga Community College.
- Kurt Treu, Regional Chair, U. S. Bancorp.
- Les Vinney, former CEO, Steris Corp.
- Helen Williams, program director, Cleveland Foundation & wife of Councilman Jay Westbrook.

I know you are all impressed.

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  I see them every day.  I had my camera, but felt that it would be rude to photograph them sneaking their smoke outside the perimeter defined by Metrohealth hospital.  Modern day pariahs.  Not that I defend smoking.  Ironically, my job at Metro, when I worked there, was to squelch the urge. 

Dangerous legacy to have, following Daberko

Not that anyone on this list is a surprise, one might have expected Daberko to disappear into the woodwork... I wouldn't want to serve on the same committee with him, nor would I want anything to do with the planning of the MedCon...

Disrupt IT