Cleveland City Council passes $600 million budget

But four councilors voted against it
Posted at 12:22 AM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 18:09:27-04

Cleveland City Council passed a $600 million budget Monday night, but not without controversy.

Four council members voted against the budget, including Jeff Johnson, Zack Reed, Michael Polensek and T.J. Dow.

The budget included more than $80 million in new revenue from a 1/2 percent income tax hike voters approved in 2016.

Some council members complained that tax increase did not do enough to demolish dangerous abandoned homes and counter violence on the city's east side, and would add fewer police officers than expected. The mayor's office put the number of new officers at 93.

“You cannot continue to have this poverty, despair and violence on the east side and not have a game plan for it!" Ward 8 Councilman Michael Polensek said.

Budget supporters argued the income tax hike could only do so much because it offsets state budget cuts made over the years. 

Ward 8 Councilman Matt Zone estimated the state has cut Cleveland's funding by about $200 million in the last 7 years.

“We should collectively, as a body, put out attention to Columbus," Zone said, "And what’s happening DC that’s impacting how we do business back home in Cleveland."