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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sales tax discussion about more than just dollars

Lake County commissioners were asked this week to consider a 0.25 percent raise to the county’s sales tax rate.

Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap, a Republican, wants the increase to help generate additional revenue for the county to help departments, including his, deal with budget cuts and maintain service levels.

Auditor Edward H. Zupancic, a Republican, agrees with the idea, as does Treasurer John S. Crocker, a Democrat. Other elected officials and department heads might also agree.

Each commissioner — Robert E. Aufuldish (D), Raymond E. Sines (R) and Daniel P. Troy (D) — says he isn’t ready to raise the rate. They cite a belief there are cuts that still can be made to services not mandated by state law.

Of the 6.25 percent rate total, the county receives 0.5 percent. The state receives 5.5 percent and 0.25 percent supports Laketran.

But the decision isn’t just a matter of dollars and cents.

Lake County was one of the first counties to implement the sales tax back in the 1960s, and the county’s share has never been raised.

So if you’re a commissioner, do you want to be the person associated with increasing that tax in this environment? 

That might leave them vulnerable to future opponents who could say “he voted to raise taxes.”

That’s another reason commissioners are likely to hold off on any increase for now until they feel there is no choice or unless there is bipartisan support on the Board of Commissioners.

Dunlap and others know that the level of service their offices provide in the future may be lessened unless there is more revenue available. The sheriff feels like he has nothing left to cut.

So may bipartisan pressure from county office holders be enough to persuade commissioners to change their minds? If not now, perhaps next year when the terms of two commissioners — Aufuldish and Sines — expire?


n Lake County Coroner Dr. Lynn Smith, picnic from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Painesville Elks Club. See Dr. Ron Taddeo or Sheila Smith.

n Kimberly Evers, Eastlake Council candidate, fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Captain’s Club in Eastlake. See Evers.

n Cocktail reception for Concord Township Trustee Christopher Galloway, an Ohio Senate candidate, from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday at Bev and Dave Vitaz residence in Concord Township.

n Brian Wollet, Mentor City Council Ward 2 candidate, fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Branding Iron Cookhouse in Mentor. See Carolyn Anderson or Rick Zaleski.

n Harry Field, Willoughby Municipal judge candidate, fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Italian American Hall in Wickliffe. See Russ Meraglio, Mark Ziccarelli or Judy Moran.

n Eastlake Council Ward 3 candidate Cindy Quinn-Hopkins hosts Pasta and Politics dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Surfside Towers Party Room in Eastlake. See James T. Overstreet.

n Fundraiser for John Krueger, candidate for Mentor Council Ward 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 14 at Decker’s in Mentor. See Krueger.

n Spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Willowick Councilman Charlie Malta from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at Willowick American Legion Hall. See MaryBeth Malta.

n Hors d’oeuvres fundraiser for Geauga County Recorder Sharon C. Gingerich from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at Cleats Club Seat Grille in Chardon. See Michele Lane.

n Lake County Democratic Women’s club hosts annual fall luncheon at noon Sept. 24 at Cappelli’s in Mentor.

Twitter: @newsheraldjah


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