[LFC Comments: Thanks to our Kirtland lobbyist for this article. Cleveland Schools are getting really creative (and deceptive) with Issue 68. Take a look at the last paragraph of the article. Not only do they want to increase the renewal period for 4 to 10 years, but they slipped in another 5 mills. [$175 per $100,000 of property valuation ($35 x 5 mills)].
Did you know that 70% of pupils graduating from the Cleveland Public Schools cannot read?
The article also demonstrates to those that rent that they are impacted by property tax increases.
Warehouse District landlord tells tenants that rent will go up if Cleveland schools tax levy increase passes
Updated 2:50 PM; Today 2:44 PM
An owner of Worthington Square sent an email to tenants telling them that rent will go up if Issue 68 passes.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland residents for weeks have received mailers trying to dissuade them from voting on or before Nov. 3 for a property tax renewal increase sought by the city school district, telling them things like the increase would “leave … breadwinners with crumbs.”
One building owner in Cleveland used a slightly different, and smaller-scale, strategy: warning his tenants in four Warehouse District buildings that rent will go up if voters pass the tax increase, commonly known as Issue 68.
Sixty North LLC owner Mike Peplowski wrote that he wasn’t telling residents how to vote. Instead, he insists he was outlining the consequences of voting “yes.”
“Should Issue 68 pass on this upcoming ballot, our property taxes associated with the buildings we own will increase significantly,” he wrote Wednesday to apartment and business tenants. “An additional 5 mills will translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional property tax expense that we will be forced to pay.
“In turn, any additional operating costs we incur, will eventually get passed on to all of our tenants.”
Peplowski runs the East Lansing, Michigan-based real estate company with his business partner Matt Steigenga. The company is one of the biggest landlords in the Warehouse District, owning the Stone Block building, Worthington Square, Lakeside Place and the Bradley Building. In addition to more than 150 apartments, the buildings are home to a bevy of business offices, retail and restaurants, including Cleveland Chop and Phoenix Coffee.
In an interview Friday, he acknowledged that the email riled up some tenants who work as teachers. His company later sent out the teachers’ email, which laid out a case for the tax increase, to tenants.
If passed, issue 68 would renew a tax that accounts for 12% of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s budget and add 5 mills – or $5 per $1,000 of property value – to cover expenses. Some of the expenses were incurred by the coronavirus pandemic. The measure would also extend the tax’s renewal cycle, set at four years and renewed twice, to 10 years.
Categories: Ohio Cities