On Thursday, April 24th, members of the Coalition Against the Sin Tax (CAST) formally introduced the next step in the implementation of a preferable alternative to the Sin Tax put forward by proponents of Issue 7 in Cuyahoga County, OH. A Committee of the Petitioners, as allowed under Chapter 7 of the Charter of the City of Cleveland introduced a ballot issue initiative on behalf of the electors of the City of Cleveland on the steps of Cleveland City Hall, 501 Lakeside Avenue.
The CAST members have presented a plan to collect the required 5,000 signatures and submit the ordinance to the Clerk of Cleveland City Council for a citizen’s initiative to be placed on the ballot in the November 4th 2014 General Election.
Alan Glazen a retired business leader, Cleveland resident and member of the Coalition against the Sin Tax, said, “It’s unfortunate that both Mayor Frank Jackson as well as Council President Kevin Kelley forget that our city government has a home-rule charter that allows for a ballot initiative by citizens to introduce their own legislation.” He continued, “We intend to ask the voters if a fair-share Facility Fee instead of a regressive and unfair Sin Tax should be applied to each ticket to a for-profit game, concert or other event at Quicken Loans Arena, First Energy Stadium and Progressive Field.”
A copy of the proposed ballot initiative and Cleveland Code of Ordinances language is available here and embedded below.
And here are a few good reads on Issue 7 and the Sin Tax that have been published recently:
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kay Johnston covers the Cuyahoga County Sin Tax issue at Newsweek: “Wealthy Sports Team Owners Want Taxbreaks to Go on Forever”
Cleveland Magazine’s Eric Trickey writes about how “We don’t know how sin tax money will be spent,” pointing out that “our elected officials would rather present a united front to get the tax passed, then argue about the messy details later.”
Finally, a Cool Cleveland editorial: “Lack of information alone is reason to vote against Issue 7.”
“The pro-sin tax campaign’s instantaneous and over-the-top attack on the “FairShare” proposal made by the grassroots anti-sin tax coalition — to raise the money via a $3.25 facility fee on each sports event ticket instead of a sin tax — and refusal to consider it at all is interesting,” Cool Cleveland writes, “because it’s so out of proportion to a reasonable proposal made by a group with much less money, media, and power than the renewal campaign.”