Levy would have generated $90 million for port in next five years.
Cuyahoga County voters failed to pass a proposed replacement tax levy Nov. 6 that would have generated $90 million for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in the next five years. Voters went against the levy by a 57 percent/43 percent margin.
Proponents of the levy said the money would pay for improvements to the Cuyahoga River and downtown lakefront areas and protect 18,000 jobs.
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s board of directors had voted in July to place the levy on November’s ballot.
In July, Port Chair Bob Smith said, “This is the right time and the right plan. With this proposed levy we aim to make essential public investments that could yield a high return and drive additional investments to sustain our community’s momentum.”
Some officials questioned putting the levy on a ballot with a Cleveland schools levy, particularly in light of an ongoing investigation into parking irregularities at the port surrounding Cleveland Browns football games.
Following the rejection, the board released a statement, saying, “In the coming weeks we will evaluate whether or not to return to the ballot next year with the same or a modified levy proposal. We want the public to know our commitment today is the same as it was yesterday: To solve maritime infrastructure problems, serve as a steward of the ship channel and create civic assets that will invigorate our waterfronts today and leave a legacy for tomorrow. We will redouble our efforts to communicate with the community, partner with stakeholders and forge another path.”