Cleveland Voters Will Consider the City's First Income Tax Hike in 35 Years

Oct 18, 2016

Passage of Issue 32 would mean Cleveland's first income tax increase since 1981.
Credit KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Next month, Cleveland voters will decide on the city’s first income tax hike in 35 years. Issue 32 would increase the tax to 2.5 percent.

Mayor Frank Jackson says without the half-percent income-tax hike, city services will have to be cut. But he says the extra $80 million a year would improve services, including police department reforms. The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the area’s chamber of commerce, has endorsed the tax hike. President Joe Roman, believes it will keepsmaintain the city’s momentum by bolstering services.

“Housing inspectors, safety services, all the kinds of things that are crucial to a neighborhood being ripe for investment, including downtown. We do have neighborhoods of the city beginning to grow again and we need more of them to do that. But in order to accomplish it we need the services. People need to see they have the services in the neighborhoods they can count on.”

The proposed tax hike has received little opposition. That’s because nearly  90 percent of Cleveland’s income tax is paid by commuters who live outside the city.