Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ed FitzGerald administration elaborates on federal shutdown, conservatives attack FitzGerald over hotel taxes, savings accounts: Cuyahoga County roundup
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The other day, County Executive Ed FitzGerald held a media event to decry the federal government shutdown. He told reporters, and later county council, that he would have his staff perform a top-to-bottom review to try to gauge the impact.
Well, now we have it. Or at least a draft of it.
Among the county programs and projects that depend on federal funding (and could therefore be in jeopardy, according to the FitzGerald administration):
- The county’s “Second Chance” rehabilitation program, funded by a grant from the DOJ (here’s a press release about the grant from U.S. Sen. Rob Portman)
- A homeless shelter financed by HUD
And more. Scroll down to see the full document.
See anything on the chopping block that concerns you? Anything you think the county could do without?
When conservatives attack
FitzGerald made a campaign appearance Wednesday with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a fellow Democrat who was in town to help raise money for FitzGerald’s bid to unseat Republican Gov. John Kasich. To mark the occasion, Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Henry J. Gomez talked to Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Schrimpf, who used our reporting as ammunition to take a shot at them both:
“Ed FitzGerald is having a week that would make even tax-and-spend champion Martin O’Malley envious,” Schrimpf said. “In the last few days, FitzGerald has pushed a new $1.5 million government program that has an additional $522,000 in administrative costs, and has pushed a new tax on free hotel rooms.”
Americans for Prosperity Ohio, the local post of the national organization with financial ties to conservative billionaire David Koch, also smells blood on the hotel tax.
On Thursday, they issued their second statement on the issue of the week. It said the proposed tax “Needs An Early Check Out From Budget.” (See what they did there?)
“Mr. Fitzgerald has a history of wasteful spending and over-taxation,” said Eli Miller, Americans for Prosperity Ohio State Director. “The businesses and taxpayers in Cuyahoga County are not revenue streams for endless funding requests. We hope he will withdraw the proposal and put the hotel tax to bed.”
FitzGerald for his part pivoted when asked Thursday, taking a shot at tax changes in the state budget passed by Republicans in Columbus.
“Basically we’re closing a loophole so that if you’re a high roller at a casino and you’re given a comped room, you’re charged a bed tax,” FitzGerald said, according to Gomez. “Now they can express outrage that some high rollers at the casino will have to pay a bed tax, but they have shown no concern for a person on a fixed income on Social Security whose taxes just went up.”