Cleveland Income Tax Hike and School Levy Renewal Pass

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Cleveland residents passed three ballot issues on Election Day yesterday. It might not be the sexiest news given what else went on yesterday, but...

Issue 32: A proposed city income tax increase

With 98.49% of the precincts reporting as of 12:55 a.m., the proposed increase in city income tax won 51.3 to 48.7 percent. Without much fanfare or campaigning, the 0.5-percent increase in income tax, which brings the city's total income tax rate to 2.5 percent, passed by a small margin of some 3,000 votes. The city had championed the increase as a way to pay for costs associated with implementing changes tied to the Federal consent decree and some general budget shortfalls. It's expected to raise $80 million a year.

Issue 33: Changes to the Police Review Board

Passing 70.4 to 39.6, the charter amendment changes the name of the Police Review Board to the Civilian Police Review Board. It also increases the size from seven to nine members. Five of those members would be appointed by the mayor, and four of those members would be appointed by City Council. The board reviews use-of-force allegations against Cleveland police officers; it plays an integral role under the consent decree.

Issue 108: A renewal of the CMSD tax levy

With a 67.8 to 32.2 margin, the renewal of the tax levy for CMSD for another four years goes on. It's a good thing. The Cleveland schools transformation plan has made gains and despite its shortcomings it deserves our support, and it got it. The $15-million levy that ran for four years will run another four and CEO Eric Gordon should have every opportunity to show us the district deserved our faith and money. The kids certainly do.

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