2013 Issue 82, Port Levy

2013 Issue 82, Port Levy

I.          Summary

            Issue 82 is a renewal levy proposed by the Cleveland Cuyahoga  County Port Authority to continue a 0.13 mil levy first enacted with the Authority’s creation in 1968.   It would run 5 years, continue existing revenue of about $3.1 million, and not result in any increase in taxes or tax revenue.  The cost is approximately $3.50 for each $100,000 of real estate value.

II.        Background

            A.        Ballot Language

82 PROPOSED TAX LEVY (RENEWAL)

CLEVELAND-CUYAHOGA COUNTY PORT AUTHORITY

A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage

A renewal of a tax for the benefit of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority for the purpose of providing funds necessary for the Port Authority at a rate not exceeding 0.13 mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to 1.3 cents for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2013, first due in calendar year 2014.

82 PROPUESTA PARA RECAUDACIÓN DE IMPUESTOS (RENOVACIÓN)

AUTORIDAD PORTUARIA DE CLEVELAND-CONDADO DE CUYAHOGA

Se requiere un voto afirmativo por mayoría para su aprobación

Una renovación de impuesto quebeneficiará a la Autoridad Portuaria de Cleveland- Condado de Cuyahoga con el fin de proporcionar los fondos necesarios para la Autoridad Portuaria a una tasa que no exceda el 0.13 milésimo por cada dólar de valoración, lo cual representa 1.3 centavos por cada cien dólares de valoración, por cinco años, comenzando en el 2013, con su primer vencimiento en el año calendario del 2014.

            B.        Cost Summary

            This is a renewal request.  The cost is approximately $3.50 for each $100,000 of real estate value.  If passed, that tax would continue for five years.  It raises revenue of $3.1 million annually.

            C.        Use of Funds

            The levy revenues comprise 35% of the Port Authority’s operating budget.

            D.        History

            Port history from the Authority’s web site. 

            http://www.portofcleveland.com/about-the-port/history/

            Port information from Wikipedia.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Cleveland

            E.        Summary of Arguments

            The Port urges support because it might not be possible to continue operating port operations as they are currently exist, that the Port supports or affects more than 18,000 local jobs, and is a major conduit for funding economic development projects.  The Port has also attempted to step in as “riverkeeper” for the Cuyahoga River, which it urges needs greater support with limited federal funds to keep the channel open and maintained.  Many miles of bulkhead are deteriorated, the “Irishtown Bend” hill is sliding toward the river threatening infrastructure, and we are running short of containment room for dredged materials.

            Arguments against the renewal include the failure of the Port Authority to reflect the 80% tax burden and 70% population outside the City of Cleveland in its composition, which is two-thirds controlled by Cleveland mayoral appointments despite assurances to renegotiate;  that the Port has wasted millions of dollars on failed or useless plans; that port shipments are largely lake bulk cargo (iron ore. coal, grain and stone) unaffected by the Port’s efforts and extremely limited and declining “general cargo” from abroad, with very little export; and that the jobs directly related to actual shipping operations controlled or managed by the Port have declined enormously since its early days.

III.       Additional Resources

Cool Cleveland endorsement and lengthy video interview of Port officials by its editorial board.

http://www.coolcleveland.com/blog/2013/10/endorsement-yes-on-issue-82-on-cleveland-port-authority/

Web site constructed by levy supporters.  http://keepourportstrong.org/

Editorial endorsement from Plain Dealer.

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/10/yes_on_port_levy_editorial_end.html

Port Authority web page discussing the levy.

http://www.portofcleveland.com/about-the-port/proposed-levy/

 

Port information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_Cleveland

 

Pages and conversation (2012) hosted by The Civic Commons.  http://theciviccommons.com/issues/port-of-cleveland

http://theciviccommons.com/conversations/live-chat-with-ceo-will-friedman

 

Greater Cleveland Partnership endorsement.

http://www.gcpartnership.com/See-What-We-Do/Advocacy/2013-Levies/Issue-82-Port-Authority-Levy

 

Letter to Editor critical of Port and its 2012 levy request.  (Note, the author is a member of The Citizens League.)

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20121105/SUB1/311059993/0/SEARCH

IV.       Conclusion

            The Citizens League is not taking a position on the merit of this levy.  We have provided this information to educate the voters about their decision.