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Northeast Ohio Voters will Decide on More than 100 Tax Issues in November

Molly Bloom / StateImpact Ohio

The deadline to file issues and local options for the November elections has come and gone, and dozens of cities and school districts across the region will be seeking to raise or extend taxes for services.

There will be more than 120 tax issues on ballots in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga and Lake counties. About 40 new levy proposals would increase either property or income taxes in cities and school districts. Most of the rest are renewals to maintain existing taxes.

Cuyahoga County is seeking a property tax increase to 3.9 mills for health and human services. The Cleveland Metroparks are also looking for an increase, to 2.7 mills. And Lorain County voters will consider raising the sales tax rate by half a percentage point. The Morning Journal and Chronicle-Telegram both report that Lorain county commissions say they’ll reduce the property tax if the sales tax issue passes.About a quarter of the tax issues on the ballot have to do with school funding.Jerry Rampelt, the director of Support Ohio Schools, helps school districts pass levies. He’s involved in some levy campaigns in Northeast Ohio, and says historically about 35 percent of school levies pass. He says a successful levy campaign requires a lot of people, and a lot of money.“Because you use the money to print literature, to mail literature, to go out and talk with voters, you hand them something, you go to meetings, you hand things to people,” he said. “A successful campaign has highly motivated volunteers, they raise enough money and then they go out and talk with voters.”Property owners will be paying a bit more than they used to per mill, but only for new levies and levy increases. That’s because the state budget ended a property tax subsidy for homeowners.Not all issues put to voters this fall have to do with taxes. Numerous cities are considering charter amendments. And voters in the city of Cleveland Heights will get to decide whether to support amending the U.S. Constitution to state that corporations are not people and money is not speech.