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Cleveland Heights Officials Propose Income Tax Hike

Friday, December 21, 2007 at 6:00 AM

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For the first time in nearly 30 years, Cleveland Heights workers and residents may end up paying higher income taxes. City officials say the city is cash-strapped and plan to put the issue on the March 2008 ballot. ideastream's Tasha Flournoy has more.

To stay afloat, Cleveland Heights city leaders faced some hard decisions over the last few years. The city lost almost 1-million in estate taxes that go into the city budget. Forty-five workers were cut, and the city expects to lose a handful more next year.

Vice Mayor Kenneth Montlack says Cleveland Heights’ losses and money woes are no different than other first suburbs: City expenses keep going up as they receive less and less outside funding. Montlack says that state and federal buffer is dying away.

Kenneth Montlack: We’re not getting the kind of support from our federal and state government that used to be the norm, and used to really be a compact between the residents and those other governments. So, we’re on our own more than ever.

Cleveland Heights’ current income tax rate is 2 percent for both residents and non-residents working in the city, excluding any tax credits. The proposed income tax hike would bring the rate up to 2.4 percent. If the proposal doesn’t pass this spring, that could spell more cutbacks. City officials have already decided to close an outdoor swimming pool next summer.

Tasha Flournoy, 90.3.

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