Property Owners to Pay More on 2014 Tax Bill

Council unanimously approved a raise on the city street lighting and forestry assessment.

Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously approved a 20-cent raise on the street lighting and forestry property assesment for property owners.

Based on the width of homeowners' property at the front edge, the assessment pays for city-owned trees, street light maintenance and the city's forestry division.

Home owners will pay $2 instead of $1.80 per foot of property frontage.

The raise will appear on the tax bill residents receive for 2013 and amounts to about a $6 per year raise for property owners with 30 feet of frontage.

Tom Raguz, the city's finance director, noted that the city raises this assessment every few years. It was last raised in 2010.

Read the ordinance here.

Garry Kanter April 01, 2013 at 06:44 AM
"Emergency" legislation, I'll bet. Only the one reading, cannot be overturned by citizen referendum. I'm guessing on this being "Emergency", but that's how they do a;most all legislation.
Diane Hallum April 28, 2013 at 04:22 PM
As I understand the term "assessment", according to something the city's law director said back in a 2010 hearing referring to "state law", the city can create an assessment, allow citizens to review the assessment, make comments, and then vote to pass that assessment. The meeting where citizens can make comments is, according to someone at the finance office is set for August. This 'assessment' cannot be considered a tax. However, that is what this assessment appears, to me, to have become. When I moved into the area, the street lights were on my deed in 1993 as a Special Assessment that totalled $39.60, or $0.99/linear foot of the house street frontage. However, back in 2010, that level was $0.68/linear foot. The city voted to increase the Special Assessment around April 2010 to raise it to $1.02/linear foot to pay for the change of city street lights from mercury vapor lights to sodium-based lights. That was the reason then for the rate increase. According to meeting notes, it appears Council Member Tumeo or someone in finance stumbled across this Special Assessment back in 2010 when the new lights were being charged by the Illuminating Co. to the city. I believe, that now see this assessment as a cash cow. No reason is given for increasing the Special Assessment - hence, it cannot be truly 'special', can it? The same appears to be the case for a second Special Assessment increase ( $0.59 to $0.78) for "tree lawns" to cover street repair costs ?!?


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