Shaker Heights Taxpayer Union Reacts to Issue 1 Passage

Mark Zetzer says group will remain to educate residents on how government can cut costs

After months of speaking out against the city's income tax increase, the Shaker Heights Taxpayers Union faced defeat Tuesday night when voters 64 percent to 36 percent.

Since the 28-member group's "Vote No" campaign seemed to be a factor through late voting hours on Election Day, President Mark Zetzer was disappointed with the lopsided outcome.

"We think we did make an impact," he said. "We still think it's unnecessary, this tax hike. We think it's going to cause more businesses to leave and people to avoid our city."

The SHTU's campaign included a and was highlighted by a and a debate with Mayor Earl Leiken on . Zetzer maintains the same concerns he's always had about the 0.5 percent increase that is expected to yield $6 million for the city to replace anticipated losses from state aid.

"It's a short-term solution," he said. "What if revenues don't pan out the way they think? What if the economy gets worse and property values continue to decline and they're not collecting property tax revenues as much?

"It's about changing the way they operate the city."

Zetzer said his group is now a nonprofit organization and will focus its efforts on educating residents and encouraging the city to grow its tax base.

"We're going to remain," Zetzer said. "We think we have a big job ahead of us to educate residents and voters about how the city and public school system can cut costs, control taxes and grow revenues by growing the tax base instead of just endlessly raising taxes all the time.

"We want to educate."

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richard simon August 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Shaker Heights voters were grossly misled by this issue. The revenue is intended to replace state inheritance taxes eliminated to benefit wealthy patrons of our investment banker Gov. The very next day after passage, the Plain Dealer reported a state surplus of $550,000,000. This will no doubt be added to $650,000,000 of 3rd Frontier Bonds to be passed out for ''job retention" to our wealthiest global corporations ( Eaton Corporation is now hq in Ireland as part of a tax avoidance scheme. They just received $65,000,000 from the state of our taxes). Cuts in state funding for the city have resulted in numerous job cuts. Layoffs of public employees have been the largest source of job loss in this recession. Where's the state job retention funds for our city?


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