Thanks to some lobbying by the Greater Cleveland Partnership, “one of the largest chambers of commerce in the United States,” a proposed 20-year extension of Cuyahoga County’s “sin tax” — an additional tax on alcohol and cigarettes that’s set to expire in 2015 after 25 years — could hit the ballot as early as next May. The first sin tax was used to pay for the construction of Cleveland’s professional sport facilities now known as Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena, and First Energy Stadium. The proposed extension would fund “upcoming major structural and core system elements and improvements” to these facilities.
Which of course raises questions about why the County’s poorest residents or anyone at all should be forced to subsidize the privately held for-profit businesses of the plutocrats who own the Cleveland franchises, Larry Dolan, Dan Gilbert and Jimmy Haslam. Local entrepreneur Alan Glazen has been an early opponent of the proposed extension, and wrote in the Plain Dealer las