An Open letter to Mayor Gail and the Euclid City Council
My husband and I attended the May 14 meeting where Council discussed the shortfall of funds the city is experiencing and the need to possibly submit an initiative for the November ballot to ask taxpayers to pay for resurfacing the roads in Euclid.
The capital levy contemplated increasing taxes/propoerrty owner to resurface roads in Euclid. The Council also proposed changing the city charter so that Council would have the power to decide if residents working outside Euclid city limits might continue to enjoy 100% credit towards Euclid taxes for taxes paid to the municipality where they work.
The charter change is seen as a way to make up the budget shortfall Euclid is experiencing due to the state of Ohio dropping its contribuiotn to the Local Government Fund, a fund that has existed since 1934 and was designed to subsidize local governments from state sales tax revenues for local government expenses. The charter change would permanently allow the City Council to decide if residents working outside the city would get 100% credit for paying our taxes where we work. This proposal pits working people living in Euclid who work outside of Euclid against retired people, and people living and working in Euclid and is unfair and undemocratic. If the charter change is adopted, five people on City Council will permanently be able to decide our tax credit, and we will have nothing to say about it.
I want the Mayor and Council to consider an alternative to raising our property taxes or changing the city charter. Your proposals amount to a double dip against us as taxpayers, and considering your positions as elected officials, I think you can do more, to keep our taxes from rising, especially during this election year.
The current governor, Kasich, gouged the local government fund and cut Euclid's (and everyone else's) allocation from the state in an effort to show that Kasich could cut taxes, increase the Rainy Day Fund, and still continue to run the state, an effort he wanted to highlight as he ran for President. He bragged about cutting Ohio taxes while balancing the budget on the backs of muncipalities who now have to make up for the cuts. He cut $2 million dollars from Euclid alone.
Kasich's cut to the Local Government Fund has hurt municipalities like Euclid all over Ohio. The Local Government Fund funds municipalities from the sales taxes we all pay on purchases. We DESERVE a cut of those sales taxes. We have already paid them.
In an election year where both Democrat and Republican gubernatorial candidates vie for our votes, it is incumbent on you as Mayor and Council members to lobby the candidates running for Governor to reverse the decision to decimate the Local Government Fund and to restore the funds municipalities deserve. You are in a unique position as elected officials to organize other mayors and city councils in Ohio and demand that the funds be restored. It is unfair to put the burden of double paying these taxes on the taxpayers of Euclid.
In addition, there is legislation at the federal level that the President has trumpeted as providing support for infrastructure in the US, a need we all know is out there. This legislation has stalled in the US Congress. Mayor Gail and City Council, how about lobbying Senator Portman to help MOVE this legislation in the US Senate so that Euclid could benefit as a city close to an Interstate (90)?
Only a handful of citizens were at the May 14 meeting. We, as residents of Euclid need to make our voices heard, or pay up.
4-year resident of Euclid. Sometime ukulele player who plays out sometimes with my husband, Dan.