CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Facing $30 million in cuts from the state, 13 percent lower property valuations, and a variety of shortfalls, Mayor Frank Jackson is scrambling
to find $42 million to end the year with a balanced budget.
Moving to next year, there is only one solution.
"We are going to be seeking a one-half percent income tax increase," said Mayor Jackson.
He said the carrots he will dangle in front of city residents are increases in services.
"If we're asking the public for so much money this is what we are promising them and this is what they'll get for that money," he told city council.
Much of what the Mayor presented was not new.
The numbers were the same ones he's already outlined, but here he put a face on the numbers. What do they do to the quality of life, how do they inspire people?
Health screenings, job training, recreation opportunities are what we'll see promised in the tax hike campaign.
Councilman Zack Reed scolded the Mayor.
"If we're going to reduce violence in the City of Cleveland we've gotta get people to work," said Reed.
Reed believes the city's oversight of minority hiring is poor, saying city residents are being ignored and contractors who don't live up to mandated hiring levels receive only small fines.
"It is not where we would like it to be, but it is so much better than where it was," Mayor Jackson replied.
After Council President Kevin Kelley intervened, the Mayor delivered a shot at Reed.
"The difference is I do stuff and he just talks about it."
Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland's observation may prove a preview of the next 12 months. She told fellow council members "It is easy when things are flux and the money is flowing you know it's easy to govern in those times."
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.