The new head of Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s most populous county, last week announced plans to use sales tax money to launch a $100 million bond-financed economic development fund.
County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced during his state of the county address last week that he wants to divert 10% of county sales tax revenue — about $17 million annually — to finance a series of projects.
The plan calls for selling $100 million of bonds to finance various economic development projects. Officials project tapping $8 million of sales tax revenue for annual debt-service payments.
The rest of the sales tax revenue would go to expand the county’s early-education programs, college scholarships and community policing strategies. A newly formed commission is crafting a five-year plan outlining the development plans.
FitzGerald took office in January along with 11 County Council members as the first officials of a new executive government that replaced a three-member board of county commissioners.
The proposal comes despite looming county cuts proposed by Republican Gov. John Kasich as part of his state budget. Cuyahoga could be facing more than $30 million in cuts, local reports said.