Shaker Heights City Income Tax Increase (August 2012)

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A Shaker Heights City Income Tax Increase measure was on the August 7, 2012 ballot in the city of Shaker Heights which is in Cuyahoga County.

This measure was approved

  • YES 4,206 (64.21%)Approveda
  • NO 2,344 (35.79%)[1]

This measure sought to increase the current city income tax by a rate of .5 percent which would help fund city needs such as capital improvement projects and economic development in the city. City officials stated that the increase in State funding cuts and the decrease in property taxes has left a gap in the city budget and this income tax addition would help fill those budget needs. Since this measure was approved, officials estimate that around $6 million a year will be raised from the tax addition. Opponents to the measure had stated that city residents already get taxes more than nearby communities and the city should be able to make their own budget cuts to meet financial needs.[2]

Lawsuit

The city of Shaker Heights attempted to bring forth a trademark lawsuit against the main opposition group, Shaker Heights Taxpayers Union . The group had slightly redesigned the city logo, placing dollar signs where leaves were, stating their opinion that the city was trying to add further tax burdens to residents. The city attempted a cease and desist order, but a federal court ruled on July 25 that the proposed lawsuit was frivolous and the group was not infringing on the city's trademark. The court repeated the opinion that the First Amendment trumps trademark law in the case of political speech.[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall the Ordinance providing for a 0.5% increase in the current levy on income, to a rate of 2.25% per annum, for the purpose of general municipal functions of the City, effective October 1, 2012, be passed?[4][5]

References