Meadowbrook-Lee: Get your checkbooks out!

Are you ready to write to check to the Orlean Company for $154.35?That's what the proposed tax abatement boils down to---oh, and throw in $1 million property on top of that.

We could debate all day about whether or not developing Meadowbrook-Lee  is a good idea.  But that is really beside the point.

Cleveland Heights City Council is asking for approval from the CH-UH Board of Education for an 11-year 80% tax abatement on the proposed project.

Two troubling questions arise that will affect all of us financially:

1. Should the city GIVE a developer a piece of property that has over $1 million of public money invested in it? These tax dollars were used to ready it for market, not to give it away.

2. Should a tax abatement be provided to the developer?

Here’s the breakdown of how our tax dollars were spent on this property.

  • Purchase Ohio Savings                                        $60,000 plus transfer costs.
    Purchase Clancy’s gas station:                                $205,000 plus transfer costs
    Purchase 3 residential properties on Tullamore:      $320,000
    Environmental remediation grant to city:                  $400,000
    PUSTR Funds (not tax dollars) for remediation of underground storage tank issues. $147,600.

Total tax dollars: $985,000.
Total money invested in the land thus far: $985,000 + $147,600=$1,112,600

It should be noted that this proposal includes the first time that the city has offered BOTH a COMMERCIAL and RESIDENTIAL tax abatement.

Giving a COMMERCIAL tax abatement is a dangerous precedent. If we say yes to Orlean Company, how can we say no to anyone else?

Tax abatements shift the economic burden off the developer and on to everyone else who pays taxes. The proposed tax abatement of $3,080,000 is $154.35 for each of the 19,954 households in Cleveland Heights. (This $154.35 does not include the value of the land.)

We all know that our school district needs all the money it can get. Now and in the next few years while it implements its building plan.
My husband and I are not willing to write a check to the Orlean Company for $154.35.

Are you?

Please contact the Board of Education and tell them you oppose this tax abatement and ask them to vote it down.

P.S. I am proud to introduce Meadow Brooklee, a drawing inspired by the Orlean Company’s statement (English majors be prepared to cringe): "Municipally owned land on the east side of Lee Road, between Tullamore and Lee Roads has sat fallow for several years”.

Artist Ralph Solonitz put his intriguing mind and talented hands to work and drew a picture of Meadow Brooklee “sitting fallow”. To see more of Ralph’s wonderful drawings, visit his Facebook page.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ralph Solonitz October 31, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I love your chocolates Billy, I didn't charge you for the free publicity...nor did I intend to demean your product. The lady on the park bench liked it also...as you can see by her size , she is a BIG fan of Mitchel's..
Ralph Solonitz October 31, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I was trying to make a point in support of the local businesses and property owners...I could have put Hershey's on the chocolate box, or Malley's, but I put Mitchell's because your chocolates are the best. I would also like to suggest maybe you switching to a decaf coffee Chocolate. In light of the crises resulting from Hurricane sandy...let's put our energy into more positive efforts...Life is like a box of chocolates...ya never know whatcha gonna git!
Fran Mentch November 01, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Mr. Mitchell, I am sorry to have upset you with the drawing; I never meant to send a negative message about you or any other current businesses. It honestly never entered my mind. I was talking about a proposal on Meadowbrook-Lee. But, I am happy that you read the article and chimed in. I feel our efforts to stop a COMMERCIAL and residential tax abatement and free land to Orlean Co. SUPPORTS all the other businesses and landlords in the area. Subsidizing Orlean will hurt your business. If you have to compete in the market without an abatement, shouldn't everyone else?
Fran Mentch November 01, 2012 at 03:44 PM
We are in the process of removing the drawing that was offensive to Mr. Mitchell and have replaced it. As the great philosopher John Dewey pointed out, business and citizens are in a community and must treat each other morally and ethically and work together for the welfare of the whole community. We have to work together.
Garry Kanter November 01, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Great job, Fran and Ralph! Did he request that, or did he just complain?


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